• Senior Living

Senior Care Research: How to Use The US News & World Report to Understand the Quality of Care at a Community

Nov 16, 2020
U.S. News & World Report points you to the best nursing care. Even though nursing homes are regulated by the government, they vary considerably in quality, character and cost.

U.S. News & World Report points you to the best nursing care.  

Even though nursing homes are regulated by the government, they vary considerably in quality, character and cost. So it helps to get as much information as possible before making a decision about which nursing home (sometimes called a skilled nursing facility) is right for you.

If you or someone you love has suffered a fall and needs rehab after a hospital stay, you may not have much time to decide. On the other hand, your loved one may be living on their own and really needs the support of a nursing home for their own safety, health and social engagement. In either case, it helps to have a way to compare your options so you can narrow them down before visiting those on your shortlist. The Best Nursing Home ratings compiled annually by U.S. News & World Report is a good place to start.

Get the facts on nursing homes in your area.

In its most recent report, U.S. News rated more than 15,000 nursing homes across the country. Ratings of high-performing, average or below average were given for both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. Only 1,139 long-term care facilities and 2,250 short-term rehabilitation centers received a high-performing rating. These nursing homes were recognized as the Best Nursing Homes in the country.

Ratings were based on 10 quality measures for short-term rehabilitation and nine quality measures for long-term care. Key measures included:

  • Staffing – Higher caregiver-to-patient ratios lead to better outcomes and happier patients. The availability of nursing staff per resident per day and the availability of therapists available have a direct impact on the quality of care provided.
  • Outcomes – A good outcome for rehab patients is to be able to return home after a short-term stay for therapy. The higher the percentage of patients able to return home after rehabilitation, the higher the rating.
  • Hospitalizations –Fewer hospitalizations are a sign that residents are doing well in the nursing home. In long-term care, this was measured by the number of hospitalizations per thousand resident days.
  • Emergency room visits – The lower the number of ER visits, the higher the rating.
  • Fall prevention – The percentage of falls resulting in a major injury factored into the ratings for short-term rehabilitation. The national average for patients who experience falls during a short-term stay for rehab is 1.8 percent.
  • Complaints – A low rate of substantiated complaints is associated with better safety and satisfaction.

For a deeper dive into how the Best Nursing Home ratings were determined for 2019-20, read the methodology report.

Choosing the best nursing home for you.

The U.S. News Best Nursing Homes report offers detailed information about nursing homes in your area. But it’s only a start to finding the right fit for you or a loved one. You should talk to the administrator of the nursing home or skilled nursing facility you’re interested in and visit to see what it’s like. Ask questions, talk to residents and staff, and get a feel for whether family members will be welcome and included as part of your loved one’s care team. The more information you can gather, the easier it will be to choose the best nursing home for you and your family.

For the best care, count on Life Care Services.

At LCS, our focus is on providing the best possible quality of life for residents at the senior living communities we manage. In the most recent U.S. News report, our efforts are reflected in the number of LCS communities recognized among the Best Nursing Homes in the country, including:

  • Meadow Ridge
  • The Village at Gleannloch Farms
  • South Port Square
  • The Virginian
  • Whitestone
  • StoneRidge
  • Hale Ola Kino
  • Friendship Village – Kalamazoo
  • Eastcastle Place
  • Essex Meadows
  • Forum at Rancho San Antonio
  • Freedom Plaza
  • Blakehurst
  • Sierra Winds
  • Friendship Village of Tempe
  • Freedom Village
  • Freedom Village at Brandywine
  • Freedom Pointe
  • Dooley Center
  • Cypress Village
  • Burcham Hills Retirement Center
  • Greenwood Village South
  • Westminster Village West Lafayette

To learn more about LCS-managed communities in your area, and how we can help you or a loved one get the care and support they need, contact us.

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