One huge hurdle almost every caregiver faces is the point where they must consider an assisted-living facility for their charge. The decision is a rough one, and recent research shows it is best to be informed when making it. Some facts might surprise you.
A study just released by the University of California San Francisco compared the staffing and quality of care received at for-profit facilities as opposed to their nonprofit counterparts. The results were nothing short of frightening.
The blogger known as “Boomer Babe” takes a look at the key findings in her recent post on The Inventor Spot:
In fact, the findings were that between the years studied, 2003 through 2008, both the percent of registered nurses and the numbers of all nursing staff were significantly less (30 percent) than those of the non-profit homes. The lower staffing correlated with a considerably higher number of rated deficiencies — the private chains having 36 percent more deficiencies, and 41 percent more serious deficiencies than the non-profits. Deficiencies include failure to prevent pressure sores, resident weight loss, falls, infections, resident mistreatment, poor sanitary conditions, and other problems that could seriously harm residents.
That is an amazing and disturbing gulf of difference. The authors of the study are correct in calling for increased oversight and accountability coupled with sanctions for low-quality care and substandard staffing.
Still, the most interesting finding was a direct correlation between poor care and a nursing home’s acquisition by a private company. It indicates that nursing homes purchased by private equity during the same 2003-2008 time span showed an increase in deficiencies. This is the first study in which that correlation has been demonstrated.
So, take some time and really research your options. These days, there are a lot of ways to make living at home easier and safer, delaying the time when managed care becomes truly necessary. Monitoring gadgets like the medical alarm for seniors and mobility aids like the Neptune bath lift can enhance quality of life, enabling older adults to remain in their homes longer. In the meantime, exploring findings like these is vital for making an informed decision when the time comes.