Discerning Nursing Homes

The United States has about 19, 000 nursing homes, and more than 1.5 million of Americans live in them. Most of the homes are owned privately, and others are operated by the government. Some are also operated by profit-driven corporations. Others are sponsored by religious and civic organizations. Different states have laws regulating the operation of nursing homes, and even require them to get license. In order to ensure they follow the law, periodical inspections are conducted.

Three types of nursing homes exist today: skilled, intermediate, and supervised. Each kind offers a particular care for certain groups of patients. In selecting a type of nursing home, there are two main things to include in the decision-making process:

nursing homeQuality Care
An admirable nursing home is it matches both the medical and psychological needs of their patients with their existing resources.

For instance, not all elderly individuals require the same medical care. A study shows that a lot of relatively healthy people live in nursing homes that have excellent medical facilities. While other patients who need more medical attention live in inadequate medical facilities.

Psychologically Fulfillment
Most elderly people who live in nursing homes are still productive. Some institutions provide activities for such residents. A good nursing home encourages their residents to have hobbies and to participate in various activities and services involving them in the community.

Emotional Impact
Most families agree to put their elderly loved one in nursing homes as a last resort. Sometimes, they do so when the person’s health conditions grow too severe and the family finds it difficult to take care and keep the relative at home. For other old people, who decide for themselves to stay at nursing homes, they regard it as a final step before death.

Nursing Homes Vacancy

At the House Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Simsbury, 17 of the nursing home’s 73 beds sat vacant last spring, a 23% opening rate that would have been unlikely five years ago. The home’s occupancy has decreased despite its above-average medical care quality ratings in the government national rating system. “There are a lot of aspects, a lot of projects out there now to keep people out of nursing homes,” said Keith Brown, the home’s manager. “And with the increase in home care, we’re seeing a weaker citizen population. So we have fewer citizens with greater skill.” The Simsbury home is not unique: Nearly one-third of Connecticut’s nursing homes are less than 90 % filled.

nursing_homesOf the 68 homes with higher-than-average opening prices, 20 were only 60-80% filled, leaving hundreds of beds unused. State-wide, even though 15 nursing homes have closed since 2008, at least 2,450 beds were vacant as of May. The state information show that occupancy prices decreased in all but two areas since 2004, falling from 96% to 88% in Tolland; 95 to 88% in Litchfield; 95 to 91% in New Haven; 93 to 90% in Hartford; 95 to 92% in Middlesex; and 97 to 93% in Windham. The exclusions were Fairfield County, where the occupancy rate stayed at about 92% and New London, where it increased from 88% to 92%.

Overall, Connecticut’s nursing home occupancy rate has tumbled in the past years, from 93.3% in 2003, the third maximum in the nation, to 89.8%, the Tenth maximum, according to March government information. The latest state Department of Social Services nursing home demographics put the statewide occupancy amount at just above 90%. Only 11 of the 230 certified nursing homes in the state were full to capacity as of last spring. Nursing home directors say the opening rate has been motivated by a number of aspects, including state projects to keep more seniors and impaired citizens in home and community configurations, as well as the ballooning assisted-living industry, generally controlled in Connecticut.