The State of America’s Nursing Home Industry

In an exhaustive report by Care.com on the current state of America’s nursing home industry, the well-researched guide compiles data from various private studies, data published by the government, and even included a recent analysis of approximately 1,000 Medicare patients. While the detailed and illuminating guide to elder care facilities is worth reading in full, these are the highlights:

  • The Scope of the Nursing Home Industry. According to the report, there are 1.7 million nursing home beds in America and 79 percent of these are occupied each day. Nursing home residents receive an average of four hours of personalized care each day. Of these four hours, only 45 minutes are spent with a registered nurse each day.
  • Nursing Home Visitors. A nursing home resident can expect six visits from their relatives each month and spend an average of 1 hour and 27 minutes each visit. A majority – 55 percent – of nursing home patients wish their family would visit them more frequently. Nursing home patients satisfied with their family’s visitation habits report an average of nine visits each month. Apparently, family members feel guilty about their infrequent visiting habits – 14 percent described feeling “extremely guilty” and 21 percent felt “moderately guilty” for rarely visiting their loved one.

  • Deciding on a Nursing Home. The decision to send a family member to a nursing home is “difficult” for 71 percent of families. Some family members describe difficulties discussing senior care with their loved one. A full quarter of families say they provided “false hope of leaving their nursing home” hoping to convince their elderly relative that nursing home care is their best option.
  • Family Satisfaction with Nursing Home. Only 71 percent of families say they are satisfied with their relative’s treatment at their nursing home. Despite the relatively low satisfaction with their loved one’s nursing home experience, barely half of the families say they would provide full-time care to their elderly relative.
  • Pain Reported by Nursing Home Residents. Across the country, 13.1 percent of long-term residents reported moderate to severe pain. For short-term nursing home residents, those staying at the facility for less than six months, only 5.6 percent reported similar levels of pain. New York nursing home patients self-report less “moderate” and “severe” pain in both long-term care (8.9 percent) and short-term care (3.5) settings.

Determining whether a nursing home is the best choice for a loved one can be incredibly difficult and personal for family members. For family members facing this decision, the helpful report by Care.com should provide some perspective on the nursing home industry.

Contact our nursing home attorneys today if you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one.

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