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SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Some Local Nursing Homes Don't Make the Grade
MONTGOMERY COUNTY -- From the moment we are born our parents take care of our every need. When the tables are turned and we have to start caring for our aging parent it can be difficult finding the best method of care.
Nursing homes are an option, but not all make the perfect grade. ABC 22/FOX 45 reporter Amber Watson did some digging to see which ones were falling behind.
Kathy Smith now hangs onto her father's memory with a few photographs. When he first became ill she made the difficult decision to put him in a nursing home.
"My mom and dad made it very well known over the years they did not want to go any place but home. Making that decision itself was difficult, saying 'now I'm in charge. I'm the parent and I'm telling you, you need to go here'," said Smith.
Not all nursing homes are equal. After some digging on www.medicare.gov we found several facilities in the Miami Valley fell below the average rating.
Widows Home of Dayton received one star out of five in its overall rating. It also received one star in the health inspection and staffing categories. On December 12 an Ombudsman was called in to interview a resident after she said she was verbally abused by a nurse. Following the investigation, Widows Home of Dayton was cited by the Department of Health for failing to follow its abuse policy regarding investigation and reporting of allegations of abuse.
After several calls we stopped by Widows Home of Dayton to speak to the director to see what is being done to improve services. We were asked to leave. However, the director tells us she has a great staff and is looking forward to the next survey.
In Germantown, Astoria Health and Rehab Center received one star out of five in its overall rating. When reviewing the latest state inspection there were complaints of neglect and poor care plans to promote healing. The field survey shows that on August 27 a resident with Alzheimer's left the facility unsupervised and the family wasn't notified. He was found near a soccer field. In August an observer also noticed a patient wearing the same clothing three days in a row.
Astoria Health was cited by the Department of Health for failing to provide adequate supervision and for failing to revise a care plan. The attorney for Saber Health, who represents Astoria Health and Rehab, issued this statement: "We believe that happy residents who are provided quality care by engaged staff members is the best measure by which to evaluate a facility. To that end, we believe that the five-star system does not adequately account for those factors, and is thus flawed and misleading to the consumer."
Michael Manes, the owner of Right at Home in Dayton, provides in-home care, but occasionally places clients in nursing homes. He says you should always do your research.
"One of the big red flags: if I see patients in the hallway or people in hospital beds in the hallway or lots of folks congregated that's typically not a good sign," Manes said.
Manes says it's a sign that not enough staff is available, which could lead to other problems. He also says to be aware of odors.
"Cleanliness in a nursing home, as in a hospital, is very important because as you age you're more susceptible to germs and people catch things in nursing homes," said Manes.
Other ways to protect your loved one include doing background and employment checks. He says longer employment generally means the staff is happy which typically means better care. Also, visit often at different times to make sure everything is being taken care of properly.
"Nursing home abuse is very real and you want the best people in there. You can't always control the action of what an individual might do, but at the end of the day you can minimize it," said Manes.
The nursing homes that we found in our area that received all five stars in all four categories include Lincoln Park Manor in Kettering and Villa Springfield, in Springfield.
To see a complete listing of all the nursing home rankings in Ohio, visit http://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html
For more information about the services Right At Home provides, visit http://www.rightathome.net/dayton/
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