The Life Transition Blog

Caregiver Resource: Nursing Home Ratings

I thought I'd take a moment to bring an important caregiver support tool to your attention. I learned more about it in an interesting article from the WSJ Sunday page in today's Naples Daily News. The author, Jane Zhang, talks about the federal government's efforts to improve the quality of nursing-home care and their recent launch of a new online tool for consumers. You can access the tool, called "Nursing Home Compare" at medicare.gov/NHCompare.

I checked it out for the Naples, FL area. There are eleven nursing homes rated within 25 miles of my zipcode. There is only one "five star rated" facility -- Premier Place at the Glenview. There are five "four star rated" facilities. I'll let you take a look at the rest of the details on your own, but I'm troubled that three of our local options only received "one star".

It's great that we now have some way to research and compare nursing-home options if we need that solution for our care recipient. Ms. Zhang does reference some caveats about the ratings, however, from the National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform who warn that some data is provided directly from the nursing homes to the NHCompare website and may contain errors.

As with any important decision, you have to do your homework. But I'm glad to see that there is at least a place to start that is based on some objective data.
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