COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University just released a study that shows Ohio’s nursing homes are some of the worst in the nation.
The data in the study is from 2013. State long-term care ombudsman Beverley Laubert said improvements have been made, but there’s still more work to be done.
“Really, I think we can boil it down to one thing. We need to do better in nursing home care in Ohio,” she said. “We need consumers to be expecting excellence and we’re trying to get consumers to expect excellence in the ombudsman world.”
The study found that Ohio ranks below the national average on all 10 quality indicators.
The lowest rankings came on measures examining urinary tract infections and unexplained weight loss.
“The not-for-profit facilities seem to perform better and some of the characteristics of those homes are that they had higher staffing levels,” said Laubert.
She said the Department on Aging is working on projects to help improve care, including finding ways to reduce the amount of anti-psychotic medications used for dementia patients, as well as, person-centered staff engagement.
“We need really well-trained and compassionate people in those jobs, so we want the quality provided and the resources there for them to be good jobs,” said Laubert. “Good jobs lead to better care.”
She said long-term care will eventually effect us all, making it crucial to improve.
“It’s really important, again, that we have the resources available to them and we’re focused on the quality of care for them and that again, with managed care contracting with good providers and incentivizing the poor providers to do better,” said Laubert.
Researchers of the study said Ohio often has been a leader in efforts to improve quality and also developed the Long-Term Care Consumer Guide, which is a website created to help provide consumers with information on nursing homes including input from residents and families. However, they found improvement initiatives indicated mixed results. Researchers said their findings suggest the state has some areas for improvement.
If you have a nursing home complaint, Laubert said don’t be afraid to speak up and contact the Ombudsman program.