Selecting a Nursing Home in Cleveland, Ohio Requires Due Diligence
By C. Meyman
The state of Ohio recently released a new consumer guide to assist residents in choosing a long-term care facility or nursing home for themselves or their loved ones. According to Cleveland.com, the guide is designed to save individuals who are shopping around for an option in Cleveland and elsewhere in the state “time, trouble and money.”
On what criteria did Ohio base these rankings? Some of the factors that went into the evaluations were “how tasty the food is at a particular nursing home,” whether those individuals residing there got “their medication on time,” and whether residents “are treated with respect” and “offered activities they enjoy.”
The survey took place via mail in 2012 and was completed by family members of nursing home residents. It focused on “the care their loved ones receive.” A second set of responses came from in-person interviews with the actual residents staying in each facility. The questions asked of these residents were of a much more specific nature. Cleveland.com reports that this line of questioning included:
- Are the aides gentle when they take care of you?
- Do the people who work here (at the nursing home) let you do the things you want to do for yourself?
- Do the therapists spend enough time with you?
- Can you get outdoors when you want to?
- Is your room quiet enough?
Statewide, an average of 89.4 percent of residents indicated that overall they liked living in their nursing home and 92.3 percent said they would recommend their facility to others. When Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County was looked at specifically, those response rates varied from home to home. For example, when only Cleveland-area nursing homes were examined, the resident approval rating spanned a high of 100 percent while the low came in at 59.3 percent.
Although that figure is not the lowest one in the state (46.6 percent), it is a pretty strong indicator of dissatisfaction. The wide range of data (40.7 percent) also illustrates why selecting a nursing facility in Cleveland can be such a hit or miss proposition.
Perhaps most interesting is that price did not necessarily correlate with satisfaction. Case in point, in the Cleveland area, the nursing home with the lowest private pay rate per day had a 93.4 percent resident approval rating and an impressive 97.6 percent recommendation rate. How then are family members in Cleveland, Ohio expected to make the important decision of choosing a nursing home for their loved ones?
They can consult a resource like Ohio’s Long-Term Care Consumer Guide but they should also consider national surveys like the Best Nursing Homes in the country. Tabulated by U.S. News and World Report, this report names “America’s Best” long-term care facilities. It provides overall ratings from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with a special emphasis on a home’s performance in health inspections, nurse staffing, and medical care. Such a resource can help decision makers uncover how a particular facility really stacks up, nationwide, not just locally.