If a Nursing Home Is The Only Option

Today we want to touch on a subject that we, as a home care company, come across often; which is better, in home care or a nursing home? That is a very tough one because of course we are biased, with good reason. Research shows that not only is in home care superior in providing a sense of stability and independence, it is also much cheaper and safer. Who could argue with one-on-one care in the safety and familiarity of your own home? However, we are not naïve to the fact that there are a few conditions that require the type of skilled nursing that home care may not offer. The purpose of this post is to say, if you absolutely need to go to a nursing home we want you to be as careful as possible when choosing one. A few months ago US News published an article on the “5 Traits of the Worst Nursing Homes”. Needless to say, this is what we want you to avoid.

  1. A history of violations – medicare.gov is a tool you can use to search by zip code and compare nursing homes. “Medicare’s star ratings take into account factors like health inspections and staffing, and if you don’t see many stars, keep clicking to read why in the nursing home’s full report.”
  2. A number of severe violations – “A community could have one violation for someone wandering off campus, which is a highly dangerous scenario, compared with another community that has 10 violations for soap dispensers not being the correct distance from the floor,” Pelella says. “Or they could be cited for cobwebs in the basement.”
  3. High staff turnover – A big indicator of this is whether or not the members of the community call the caregivers by name. Usually a good indication that the staff member has been there for a while.
  4. The residents lack independence – the article suggests that personal touches in the patients’ rooms, such as photos on the walls, can suggest independence. Also, According to Tamar Shovali, assistant professor of human development at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, “there are several studies where researchers concluded that nursing home residents have greater well-being when they are able to make decisions about their environment than when the staff made decisions for them.”
  5. You feel uneasy in your gut – as with a lot of things in life, sometimes you just need to trust your gut. “Is the place neat and orderly? Is the staff dressed cleanly and neatly?” Schulman asks. “Do they show respect to the residents? Are they wheeled around? How does the place smell? First impressions do make a big deal.”

The article has some very interesting points that are worth looking at, and we hope you will read it. Here is the link to the article. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/05/07/5-traits-of-the-worst-nursing-homes

Again, in most cases we will advocate for in home care; it just makes sense. At the same time, certain illnesses require more acute medical attention, and we understand that too. If possible though, in the nursing home vs home care fight, we will almost always root for home care.

–    Georgetown Home Care