The nonprofit elder advocacy group Families for Better Care recently released a state-by-state review of nursing home care. The review gave letter grades to states based on federal data regarding staffing, inspection results, reported deficiencies and complaints received. For 2012, Illinois was one of eleven states to receive a failing grade in the report. In addition to Illinois, states that received failing grades were Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas.
The executive director of the nonprofit highlighted the importance of holding nursing homes accountable for the care they provide. The states and the nursing homes themselves need to do more to protect the health and safety of the residents of these facilities. The review may spark greater interest in how this vulnerable population is being treated.
Given the age demographics of the United States, the nursing home population is expected to rise dramatically in the near future. A study conducted by the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago showed that the nursing home population was likely to triple from 1988 to 2030. In the next 10 years, nursing home residency is expected to rise by 40 percent.
Nursing homes often experience rapid turnover among caregivers. States with good scores in the review tended to have larger staff with greater experience. Protecting the safety of the nursing home population will likely mean finding better ways to find and retain caregivers with the training and temperament to care for residents properly.
Source: CBS Evening News, "Eleven states get failing grades for nursing home care," by Manuel Bojorquez, 9 August 2013