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Nursing homes are no longer perceived as the ‘end of the line’ by clients

March 29, 2012
by Sandra Hoban, Executive Editor
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For years, nursing homes have been taking their lumps. Long-term care was an option for people to avoid at all costs. Most of the public’s perception of elder care comes from the media push on the dramatic, the sensational. But that overall negativism is becoming a thing of the past as more seniors and their families experience the benefits and perks long-term care has to offer.

Quality of care and culture change are large contributors to changing the face of nursing home care as revealed in a statewide survey of nursing home residents and their families in Missouri. Researchers Marily Rantz, Curator Professor and Marcia Flesner, a clinical educator in the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri, found that industry perceptions are changing, indicating that LTC clients and their families are satisfied with their services and settings.

Rantz sums up the survey results: “The findings paint a positive picture of nursing homes that contradict previous perceptions,” she says, crediting nursing home administrators’ conscientious efforts  to improve quality of care, while creating homelike environments .

And according to the survey, developed by My InnerView,  those efforts have not gone unnoticed. Nearly 200 skilled nursing facilities were evaluated for overall satisfaction on the quality of care, quality of life and quality of service received.

Findings released by the university show that 86 percent of residents and their family members rated their overall satisfaction with their facilities as excellent or good. And more than 80 percent felt that the care, service and quality of life enjoyed by their loved ones were excellent or good.

And more good news to highlight the change in perception is that nearly 90 percent of the respondents would recommend their facility to others. Facilities that participated in the survey, received important individualized evaluations, noting the organization’s strengths and, possibly more important, the areas that need improvement. 

As Flesner points out, caring for an aging, vulnerable population is a complex business and she compares running a nursing home to running a small community. She sums it up nicely: “[Family members] want the best care possible for their relatives in places that feel like home. The results indicate Missouri nursing homes are doing a good job, though room for improvement exits."

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Sandra Hoban

Managing Editor

Sandra Hoban

@SandiHoban

www.ltlmagazine.com

Sandra Hoban has been on Long-Term Living’s editorial staff for 17 years. She is one of...