The decision to put a loved one in the care of a nursing home can be demanding. In fact, a recent national survey of individuals who have placed a family member in a nursing home showed that 71.1 percent of respondents described the decision as difficult.
This is partly related to feelings of guilt related to sending a loved one to a care facility and concerns about the safety of those facilities. That survey explored these and many other related issues that families should consider when discussing long-term care.
Care.com pulled data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the governing body over nursing homes, and combined it with a nationwide survey of family members of nursing home patients. This approach produced a wealth of data worth consideration, though there are a few points that deserve special notice here.
Time is a major factor in nursing home care. The primary advantage of a nursing home over in-home care is that patients have access to medical attention at all times. This does not actually translate into 24/7 interaction, however. Individual cases will vary based on needs and availability, but on average Registered Nurses (RNs) spend about 40 minutes per day with each patient, while Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) spend 53 minutes per day with each patient.
This is due in some measure to the difference in their responsibilities; while RNs are responsible for delivering medication and explaining treatment to individuals and families, LPNs spend much of their time on assisting living, such as cleaning patients and helping them reach necessary places.
A full 71.3 percent of respondents expressed satisfaction with the care their loved ones receive in nursing homes. This still leaves a great many families with valid concerns, however, and Medicare’s website offers a free tool for helping you find the best home for your loved one. They rank nursing homes by important factors such as inspection results, and put these ratings into a searchable database to help you make an informed decision.
One factor studied by Care.com was the reported pain of residents. The study found that short-term residents report suffering from moderate to severe pain at a higher rate than long-term residents, and this remained true across the country. Alabama was ranked 40th among the states for rates of pain, meaning our elders experience less pain than those in 39 other states, falling lower than the national average for both short-term and long-term residents. Of our neighboring states, only Florida and Tennessee put up better numbers, so it may be wise to keep our loved ones close to home.
There are a lot of encouraging numbers in the study, but there is still room for improvement. This means there are still nursing homes that must be held accountable for the pain they cause their residents through abuse or neglect. If your loved one has suffered under nursing home care, contact us today to learn how we can help.