Arizona Is Home to 17 of the Country’s Worst Nursing Homes
Choosing a nursing home to take care of our loved ones is a stressful process. You want to make sure the facility is safe, comfortable, and affordable. Unfortunately, nursing homes are not always up to snuff and many turn out to be hazardous for those who rely on them. To try and combat the dangers of bad nursing homes, the group Long Term Care released a report detailing which nursing homes have been given a one out of five-star rating by the federal government.
Alarmingly, Arizona is home to 17 of those one-star nursing homes.
Rating Nursing Homes
The rating system evaluates nursing homes on a scale of one to five, with one being the lowest, and worst, and five being the highest, and best. These ratings aren’t determined randomly and a great deal of thought and work went into each one. The homes are judged on several important factors, including:
- Health inspections
- Staff quality/quantity
- Number of substantiated complaints
- Amount/number of fines
Fines are often given to nursing homes as a punitive measure if inspections uncover bad conditions, abusive staff, or issues of negligence. More fines may be given if later inspections make it clear that no steps were taken to fix the issues. One nursing home, located in Maricopa, has been fined almost $15,000 and received 6 substantiated complaints.
Finding a Good Nursing Home
Many nursing homes are aware of the reputation the industry has for being rife with abuse and negligence. This means that they will do their best to make a good impression when you go to meet with upper management or take a tour. Whether they keep the promises they make to you is a completely different matter. To make sure you are placing your loved one in a home that will take good care of them, there are a few things you should do.
Chat with friends and family: Chances are a friend or family member will have been through this process already. They may be able to tell you what homes to look at and what homes to stay far, far away from.
Look at multiple homes: Even if the first home you look into seems perfect for your needs, you should still take the time to look at a few other options. The more data you have, the more likely you are to make the right decision.
Visit the home: Online research and brochures can only tell you so much. It’s always best to visit a facility before selecting it. It can give you a good sense of how your loved one will be living during their day to day life. While visiting, be sure to ask yourself – and the staff – a few important questions. Do the residents look happy? Do they look healthy and well cared for? Is the facility handicap accessible? Are the staff treating residents warmly? Is the facility clean and well maintained? Will your loved one be happy in the environment? What medical services are available, such as diabetic care or mental health reviews? Do the current residents enjoy the facility?
Visit the home multiple times: Make a second, or even third, visit without notifying the facility first. The initial tour may have been set up in such a way to make it seem safe and happy. By visiting without calling ahead, you can really see how the home operates and treats its residents.
Do research: While online research won’t tell you everything, it can certainly be illuminating, especially if the home has been in the news, or if dissatisfied residents and their families left reviews. The Arizona Department of Health Services also allows you to search reports that have been filed against long-term care facilities, including inspections, fines, and citations.
If your loved one has been abused by their nursing home, don’t hesitate to contact The Husband and Wife Law Team. There is nothing as important as keeping your family safe and happy. Those who would harm your family should be held accountable for their actions. Call us at (480) 588-8508 and find out how we can help you.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer