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Insight On Nursing Homes From The Director Of An On-Line Community For Senior Care Professionals

Today’s nursing home interview comes from Tom Ratcliff, co-founder of National Senior Living Providers Network which provides an on-line, interactive career-based community for senior care professionals.  Many thanks Tom!

Who are you and what type of work do you do?

insight_nursing_homesNSLPN.com is an online community for professional senior care professionals: Independent Living, Assisted-Living, Skilled Nursing Homes, CCRC’s, Home Health/Home Care, and Hospice.

We provide information and community source for our members as well as a job board for the senior care industry.

What are some positive trends (if any) in the nursing home industry?

Local, state and federal guidelines are more specific about nursing home behavior. Also, the general public (citizens and organizations) has become more sensitive and aware of care nursing home behavior and have become watchdogs of the industry of sorts.

What are some negative trends (if any) in the nursing home industry?

State and Federal reimbursement for Medicaid patients may be inadequate to provide essential services for some nursing home residents. A lately there has been a recent shortage in enough Therapists to go around.

What correlation do you see with respect to the national trends in the nursing home industry and the impact on patient care?

It has become a competitive industry (especially with influx of Assisted Living and Home Health/Home Care) therefore nursing homes have to provide quality services if they are to attract residents and maintain an acceptable census. There is a trend to keep the elderly at home longer and avoid or delay sending them off to a nursing home which can also impact patient care.

How would you compare the nursing homes of today vs. those of 20 years ago?

Nursing home reputations suffered greatly 20 years ago from real and alleged abuse. Today, there is a much higher percentage of nursing homes trying to provide as good a care as economically feasible.

What suggestions do you have for families when it comes to selecting a facility for their loved ones?

There are many state and federally sponsored websites that rate nursing homes. Also, I would get in touch with senior organizations in the area and ask them to share their knowledge on local facilities.

Three words to describe nursing homes: essential, challenged, caring.

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