The media coverage on nursing homes these days is disturbing to say the least. Directly or indirectly, the issue affects us all. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of Americans turning 65 will need long-term care and services.
Whether it’s you or a family member who needs long-term care, it can be challenging to find the right facility. Discrepancies in rankings by federal and state rating systems can be bafflingly wide. Who do you listen to?
“It’s really head-scratching for people,” says Brian Lee.
Lee is the Executive Director of Families for Better Care, a non-profit citizen advocacy group that promotes awareness of the conditions in America’s nursing homes and other long-term care settings and develops ways to improve the quality of life and care.
The watchdog organization provides helpful information on residents’ rights and best practices in resident-centered care while advocating for regulatory changes to improve care and conditions. Families for Better Care collaborates with other citizen advocacy groups, resident and family councils, ombudsmen, and other health care providers and agencies to support quality nursing home care.
The group’s latest development, Nursing Home Report Cards, analyzes, compares and ranks nursing home quality by state. To utilize this feature or learn more, visit familiesforbettercare.com.
With long-term care, knowledge is power. Medicare pays only about 12% of long-term care costs nationally. Fortunately, there are plans designed to cover quality care and services while helping to protect your retirement savings. Ask a skilled AMBA agent if a long-term care policy, endorsed by your association, is right for you.
And don’t be discouraged by what you see on the news. Together, we can make a difference.