Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Elder Abuse In Nursing Homes: How to Spot It and What To Do

The term “elder abuse” can refer to several forms of abuse and occurs in homes, relatives’ homes and even in nursing homes of elderly adults. As men and women age and become dependent on others’ care, there are unscrupulous caregivers out there who take advantage of the situation. In the United States, more than half a million reports of abuse against the elderly reach authorities every year, meaning that several thousand cases go unreported.

Here are some of the different forms of elder abuse:

  1. Physical Abuse: Non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury or impairment. This not only refers to physical assaults but also the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.
  2. Emotional Abuse: The way people speak to or treat elderly people in ways that cause emotional pain or distress. Verbal forms include intimidation through yelling, humiliation and habitual blaming. Nonverbal forms include ignoring the elderly person, isolation and terrorizing.
  3. Sexual Abuse: Contact without the elder’s consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts, but also includes showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts or forcing the elder to undress.
  4. Neglect: Refers to the failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation and constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional.
  5. Financial Exploitation: The unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property. Examples include misuse of an elder’s personal checks, credit cards or accounts, stolen cash, forging of the elder’s signature and identity theft.
  6. Healthcare Fraud and Abuse: Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers. Examples include not providing healthcare but charging for it, overcharging or double-billing, getting kickbacks for referrals to other providers, overmedicating and Medicaid fraud.

In short, there are several forms of elder abuse, all of which can be very serious concerns in any elderly living scenario. Knowing the different forms of elder abuse is the first step. There are several ways to recognize if your loved ones are suffering if you are unsure. Then, alerting the right people is the crucial part.

Find Elder Abuse Resources to help further guide you and check out this Infograph to learn more.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How To Volunteer in a Nursing Home

The term "nursing home" doesn't always evoke the most positive or exciting feelings at first. Full-time senior care facilities are termed nursing homes due to the fact that the people who live in them are provided with a nurse's care. Interestingly enough, nurses aren't the only caregivers. Aside from the obvious medical care, nursing homes rely on volunteers to interact with their residents. Activities run by volunteers serve as an integral part in helping residents feel at home and cared for.

So, what are the basic requirements, duties and benefits of working as a nursing home volunteer? Here are some interesting things to consider:


  • The specific requirements can vary within even a single city, so make sure you know the ins and outs of what's needed at your specific nursing home before beginning to volunteer.
  • You should love being around older people, the main purpose of volunteers is to engage the residents, and that's best done when you're enjoying yourself!
  • Knowledge of how to play card games is important, like bridge or Canasta. These are activities that take much more mental energy than a physical one, which is usually better.
  • Some positions may have age stipulations, a common age requirement for younger volunteers is 15.
  • Knowing how to steer a wheelchair is also a good skill to have when volunteering in nursing homes.
  • Some nursing homes may require more training, especially when working with hospice patients, being mentally ready for an emergency or worse is also a good idea. This type of volunteering can be emotionally draining as well.


  • Help run games, such as calling out numbers and helping players find them on their cards while playing bingo.
  • Give manicures, many elderly women love to have their nails done. It is a simple way to make someone feel young and pretty again.
  • Cleaning and tidying up is always a huge help for nursing home staff.
  • Personal relationships are so important to residents and their well being. Working with the same person and building a relationship is often the best way to go about volunteering.


  • Making new friends! Spending time with the same people consistently almost always leads to good friendships.
  • Know that you are improving the lives of the people you meet, moving away from your home and losing your independence is not an easy transition for residents.
  • Job experience, by working with a well-respected organization like a nursing home, you can add the position to your resume or list of references.
  • Invaluable service to your community.

If you are interested about learning more, finding local nursing homes or searching for local volunteer opportunities visit: http://local-nursing-homes.com

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nursing Homes Charity Spotlight: TAFA

The statistics are staggering. Over half of those living in nursing homes will pass away without a friend. The Turn-A-Frown-Around Foundation, Inc (TAFA) decided that people living in nursing homes, psychiatric wards and partial care programs need and deserve a friend. TAFA’s mission is to help isolated individuals attain a sense of hope and well-being through the affirmation and recognition of others. They do this by matching caregivers, mostly volunteers, who bring love, laughter and a listening ear to those who need it.

Started by Drew Horn in August of 2001, a self-proclaimed “motivational, inspirational comic and clown,” TAFA continues to draw its motivation from Mother Teresa and Patch Adams, both individuals who found ways to bring light into others lives. Some of TAFA’s activities include:

  • Personal visits and being a Forever Friend
  • Phone buddies
  • Emails to the lonely
  • Motivational comedy
  • Skits
  • Songs
  • Performances that showcase the talents of volunteers

Nursing home residents often find themselves feeling isolated or forgotten. The Forever Friend program allows volunteers to spend time with residents at nursing homes who are without family, friends or visitors, hoping to help them feel more connected and loved. The program requires Forever Friends to visit their assigned friend for at least 20 minutes a week. If you are interested in learning more about ways to help in TAFA’s mission, visit http://turnafrownaround.org/help_out/index.html.

Local Nursing Homes offers special flowers and gifts http://local-nursing-homes.com/flowers to send your loved one at any time. You can also check out different volunteer opportunities here: http://local-nursing-homes.com/nursing-homes-volunteer

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Choosing Where to Go for Nursing Home Care

It’s expected that by the end of the year 3.3 million elderly Americans will be living under nursing home care. This means that of people aged 65 and older, 1 in 7 will live in nursing home care, while 1 in 5 of those over the age of 85 will live under nursing home care. For the millions of Americans requiring such care, it’s important that they know where the best nursing homes in the country are located.

This past January, 3,036 of the nation’s nursing homes received the highest possible rating of 5 stars from the United States’ government. Residents of larger states might not have the best luck finding a quality nursing home, despite the number of choices. For example, Tennessee has over 300 nursing homes, although only about a sixth of those nursing homes received 5 stars from the US government.

California has the most 5-star nursing homes with a staggering 312. Rounding out the top five are Pennsylvania with 160, Illinois with 156, Florida with 141, and Ohio with 137.  5-star ratings are given to nursing homes which excel in State-conducted health inspections, nursing and physical therapy staffing, and quality of medical care.

When choosing a nursing home, you should put the quality of the home at the forefront of your search. Make sure you’re getting your top dollar when it comes to paying for care, as sending a loved one away doesn’t come cheap. If it makes sense to send your loved one further away for better care, make sure it’s at least to a facility you can trust.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Growing Number of Nursing Home Residents

There is a startling reality in the United States that over 1.3 million seniors are living in nursing home care. This number is growing every decade, as medicine gets better, and people are living longer than ever. At the price tag that averages nearly $83,000 a year per resident, it’s no wonder why the nursing home industry is as big as it is.

The largest generation of Americans is the “baby boomer” generation, made up of post World War II babies. This period extended all the way from 1946, up until 1964, and consisted of nearly 76 million babies being born in the United States.

While many would prefer not to live in nursing home care, the truth is that at a certain age, many Americans need such care.  Pretty soon, America’s greatest generation will be filling out nursing homes, as more baby boomers are becoming senior citizens every day. In fact, nearly 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 years old every day! At the price tag of about $83,000 per resident, the future for the nursing home industry looks bright.

Not only are these baby boomers becoming seniors in droves, they’re also living longer. The average life span is currently about 83.8 year old. That’s almost 19 years of being a senior citizen. It’s no wonder why the number of people living in nursing home care is higher today than it ever has been in the past..

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to Pay for Nursing Home Care

There’s a very good chance that at some point, someone in your family will need to be placed under nursing home care. In fact, most people over the age of 65 will require long-term care at some point during their life, while 40% will need a brief period of care at the very least. Unfortunately, paying for a nursing home isn’t always easy. The cost of such care can be a serious financial headache to you, and your family. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help ease your burden.

Planning for future nursing home care is not unlike planning for college. You should start saving well ahead of time, and have a plan in place. A long-term care insurance plan, such as Medigap, or a plan provided by your employer can really help offset the costs of living in a nursing home. Usually these plans have to be in place before any kind of event that would send someone to a nursing home, and is impossible to attain once a serious accident, or health problem has occurred. This needs to be considered, as the price of a private room in 2012 was estimated to be as much as $248 a day.

Check to see if Medicare will help cover the costs of sending your loved one to a nursing home. Medicaid provides coverage for short-term, or rehabilitation stays, but does not cover long-term care. In fact, Medicare will only cover up to the first 100 days of care, so keep that in mind when the need for a nursing home arises.
Medicaid can be a better option for some of those who don’t have the funds to provide nursing home care for a loved one. However, there are several different qualifications for Medicaid, as the program is meant to benefit those who truly need it. Make sure you qualify before seeking Medicaid assistance.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Good Questions to Ask a Nursing Home Staff

In addition to asking your loved one some questions to find out if they are receiving the best possible care, you may also want to consider asking the staff some questions.  These problems are even more important if your loved one has a pre-existing medical condition, such as dementia, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s. 

Ensure that your loved one appears happy.  Make sure they aren’t showing any signs of being depressed, and are making the adjustment to living in a nursing home facility smoothly.  If there are problems, talk to the staff about what they are planning to do to resolve these issues.

Here are some good questions to ask the staff:
  • Is your loved one being social, and regularly interacting with the staff and other residents?
  • Are they getting their medication as prescribed?  Make sure your loved one is receiving his or her medications at the proper times to avoid complications, and unnecessary risk.
  • Are they eating the right meals?  Make sure the staff is keenly aware of any medical conditions, and has adjusted your loved one’s diet accordingly.  For example, if they have a heart condition make sure they are kept on a low-sodium, low-fat diet.
  • Have any of their medications changed?
  • Is your loved one getting enough exercise?  Make sure that they are getting out of their room, and staying in good physical condition.  This can help them work through some of the stress that comes with living in a nursing home facility, and help promote a healthier lifestyle.
Keep up-to-date with your loved one’s time in the facility.  If they had a recent accident, health issue, or behavioral problem talk to the staff and make sure that the issue was resolved properly. 

Lastly, make sure you’re doing your part.  Be a reliable resource for the staff.  If they have questions about your loved one’s medical history or personality, make sure you’re available to answer all of their questions.  The best way to ensure that your loved one is getting the care that he or she deserves is by working with them, as well as the staff to better understand their needs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Asking Your Loved Ones the Right Questions to Ensure That They Receive the Best Care

You may think that your work is done, and you can rest easy once you find the right nursing home for your loved one.  This is not necessarily the case.  You can do more in order to ensure that your senior is getting the best care possible.  In order to understand if your senior’s needs are being met, try asking them the following questions:
  • Do you feel as though you are safe here?
  • Are you being respected by the staff?
  • Are you as comfortable as possible?
  • Are you worried by anything?
  • What do you think of the staff?
  • Is there a staff member you like in particular?
  • Have you made any friends here?
  • How long does it take a staff member to answer the call button?
When asking these questions you should put yourself in your loved one’s position.  If you were in a nursing home are these the questions you would like your family to be asking you?  Make sure you ask these questions in a reserved manor.  Don’t make your senior feel as though they’re being interrogated.  Simply find out some of your loved one’s opinions of the nursing home in order to determine whether the treatment at this facility is suitable for him or her. 
If your senior is truly concerned about some aspects of living in a particular nursing home, you should be able to tell rather quickly by asking questions such as these.  In that event, it might be time to speak to some of the administrators of that nursing home, or consider moving your loved one to a different nursing home altogether.  Just be sure to put your loved one’s needs first, and find out what they would prefer to do.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Importance of a Call Button

Patient falls are an unnecessary risk in nursing homes.  In most cases, patients fall because they are trying to satisfy a need that was not being tended to.  These falls can lead to serious injuries like fractures, and can cause patients to develop a disability, or show a general decline in quality of life over a short period of time. 
These falls are not the fault of the residents; they are the fault of the nursing home staff for failing to provide the residents with enough resources.  In order to avoid these unfortunate situations, nursing home staffs should educate their residents to use a help, or call button.  If a patient needs something their initial reaction should be to ask for help rather than try to get something done on their own. 

There are a few other things you can do to cut back on these falls:

  •   Make sure anything that a patient needs on a regular basis, (phone, water, etc.), is within reach of a patient’s bed. 
  •   Are your residents falling because they’re getting up to turn on the television?  Set the television to turn on automatically when the patient generally wakes up. 
  •    Help your patient find their way to the restroom by turning the bathroom light on at night. 
  •    Check in regularly with your patients to make sure that they are being escorted to the restroom as needed.
These are just a few simple tips, but they can go a long way toward reducing the number of patient falls in any nursing home. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Some Things to Remember When Visiting a Nursing Home

When visiting someone in a nursing home, it’s important to remember a few things while you’re there.  Some of these might seem like common sense, but it’s always good to be reminded of a few simple things.

  •  Be as supportive and loving as you possibly can.  While a visit to a nursing home might not seem like such a big deal to you, it could really brighten the day of your loved one.  Make sure they know that they are still loved, and are not just there out of necessity.
  •  Don’t just surprise your loved ones with a visit.  Residents have lives too.  You don’t want to disrupt the daily order of their lives with a surprise visit.  Make sure you plan out your visits in advance, with both of your schedules in mind.
  • Pay close attention to your loved one, and be respectful.  Listen to some of their stories, and let them enjoy taking an active part in the conversation.
  •  Treat the residents like adults, not children.  The fact that some residents require extra care for physical and mental disabilities his doesn’t mean they deserve any less of your respect.
  • Keep your loved one up-to-date with your life, and how the family is doing.  Without being around the family as much they might not feel as much a part of the family as they used to.  Doing so makes them feel more loved.
  • If you have children, make sure you bring them with you so that they can develop a bond with your loved ones in the home too.  These trips can be very educational for children.
  • Be cordial to other residents, not just the resident you came to visit.   Some of the other residents might not get to enjoy regular visits from their family, and a little hello can go a long way.
  • Lastly, if you have the chance, take your loved one out for the day.   They spend enough time inside of the nursing home.  Why not let them enjoy some free time away from the home?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Federal Rating for Medicaid & Medicare Nursing Homes

You’ve probably noticed by now that we have 2 different types of ratings on local-nursing-homes.com- overall federal rating, and average user rating.  In late 2008, the federal government announced a new, 5-star rating system for all of the United States’ 15,800 nursing homes.  This marked the first time that these nursing homes were ever rated by the federal government.

Scoring for the rating system is based on information obtained from federal health inspection surveys, quality-of-care data, and staffing information.  In order for a nursing home to receive a 5-star rating all of the data must show that the nursing home is performing well above average; while conversely, a 1-star score indicates that a nursing home is performing well below average.

The initial scoring revealed the following:          

  • 66% of nursing homes received two to four stars 
  • 22% of nursing homes received just one star
  • 12% of nursing homes received five stars

More recent scoring from the 15,670 nursing homes in our database revealed the following:

  • 1 Star = 2,109 = 13.58%
  • 2 Star = 3,059 = 19.69%
  • 3 Star = 3,082 = 19.84%
  • 4 Star = 4,256 = 27.40%
  • 5 Star = 3,026 = 19.48%

Also, don’t use this information as the be-all, end-all for your nursing home search.  Check out user ratings.  Find out what the current residents of the nursing home have to say about their living conditions.
Below are the results of our 24,009 user ratings:

  • 1 Star = 10,545 = 43.92%
  • 2 Star =   2,033 =   8.47%
  • 3 Star =   1,248 =   5.20%
  • 4 Star =   1,935 =   8.06%
  • 5 Star =   8,248 = 34.35%

When looking into the overall rating of a nursing home, you would be well-advised to take this information into account.  Check out the overall federal score of each nursing home that you might be considering.  Then, break that down and find out why that nursing home received that specific score.  Is there not enough staff?  Are the facilities not well-maintained?  These are all important aspects that are reviewed during federal inspections.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to Choose the Right Nursing Home

Choosing the right nursing home for a loved one can be a complicated process.  There is a lot more that goes into selecting the right facility than just proximity and price.  Several other factors must be considered before making a commitment to any one single nursing home.  Here are some tips to help you select the right nursing home.

1. Take a look at how the staff treats current residents.  If the staff appears friendly and approachable, then this might be a facility to consider.

2. Are the staff members well-trained, and can take care of your loved one in the event of an emergency?

3. Are there nurses available around the clock?  This is important as emergencies can occur at any time, and it is very important that your loved one is in the right hands.

4. Make a call and speak with administrators before visiting a facility.

5.  Do your research.  Check out sites like Local-Nursing-Homes.com and see that people are saying about each potential nursing home.  What is the federal rating?  What are residents saying about the home?  These are all things to consider.

6. Cleanliness is important.  You want your elderly loved ones staying in a clean room, being bathed regularly by the staff.

7. Make sure the ratio of staff to residents acceptable.  You don’t want to choose a facility where the residents far outnumber the staff.  A small staff may not be able to care for each of their residents properly.

Remember to check out each facility in person.  There are certain things that you can’t find out from reading about a home online, or speaking on the phone.  Make the effort to evaluate a facility in person.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sherman Oaks Health & Rehab 4 Star Review

New 4 Star Review of Sherman Oaks Health & Rehab Located in Sherman Oaks, California
"Sherman Oaks Rehab was not the first choice for my mother. The facility we wanted had no vacancies. However, It turned out to be a blessing because I am very happy here as is Mom. Nursing homes are never perfect but I found that Sherman Oaks Rehab was willing to work with me in making Mom comfortable and well cared for. I spend 6 to 8 hours daily and I see how the employees treat those residents that have no outside visitors or family. They are loving and caring with these people, as well. I have called many times at all hours and they are wonderful in helping me with any concerns I might have. Most importantly, they are constantly striving to make this the best facility possible. I feel like they are an extended family."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kindred Transitional Care and Rehab-Highlander 5 Star Review

New 5 Star User Review of Kindred Transitional Care and Rehab-Highlander located in Fall River, Massachusetts

"My Mother in law is a resident on the 2nd floor . When I tell you she is the happiest she is been in a long while i'm understating. All the staff go above and beyond. example: Her glasses broke one day and Kevin took them home to fix them I thought that was a nice touch. She sings and dances and the staff sings with her. When I get to that time in my life where I need a home Kindred-highlander is..."


Crosbyton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center 1 Star Review

New 1 Star User Review of Crosbyton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center located in Crosbyton, Texas
"This is an old nonupdated facility. The batcrooms situation has 4 residents sharing one, with mixed genders. Therapy options are not sufficient. You are better off going down the road to Lubbock. Its further but you will at least have choice and better physical environments. 50% vacancy should tell you something."

Mckinley Park Care Center 1 Star Review

New 1 Star User Review of Mckinley Park Care Center located in Sacramento, California

"The facility is over crowded and the patients do not receive good care. Communication is poor and patient needs are not a high priority. My terminally-ill mother did not receive the treatment that was promised on admission. "


Wesleyan Village 1 Star Review

New 1 Star User Review of Wesleyan Village located in Elyria, Ohio

"My grandmother was at this facility 5 yrs ago. I chose to write this review after many years of considering it, and 5 years of her being gone. It was very difficult to find anyone there to answer our questions, or to get an aid for help at any point. They also happen to lose her dentures with no explanation, as well as her walker. I feel they staff low, considering how much this facility charges,..."


Ripley Crossing 1 Star Review

New 1 Star User Review of Ripley Crossing located in Milan, Indiana

"My Grandfather was taken to ripley crossings while he recovered and has since acquired a severe case of c-diff and almost died... Further more this place has cancelled my grandfathers bed at Arbors and has since held him so they can continue to collect his Medicare. He has not received proper treatment and was never properly quarantined after his c-diff diagnosis. "


Coronado Healthcare Center 1 Star Review

New 1 Star User Review of Coronado Healthcare Center located in Phoenix, Arizona

"very dirty all around. The room was dark and plain. The staff just placed my loved ones food tray in front of them and walked out. My loved one is a stroke patient who cannot feed themself or talk and a high risk for choking. Then 15 min later, staff came and took the tray right out without her taking one bite. My loved one has decubs and has lost alot of weight after being there only 2 weeks. "


Golden Living Center - Montgomery 1 Star Review

New 1 Star User Review of Golden Living Center - Montgomery located in Montgomery, Alabama

"Poor management at facility in Montgomery AL and at HQ and region. No follow-up with family on loved ones issues/needs/health status. Nursing staff not well managed and turnover is extremely high of medical and nursing staff. Prescriptions are not filled correctly or on a timely basis. Food quality is poor. Grounds are not well kept. Nurses smoke in all areas of facility. On weekends, door alarms..."