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U.S. nursing homes get failing grades in caring for their residents

A 95 year old resident of a Maryland nursing home waits her turn in the salon.
J. Anthony Burke

Families for Better Care, a non-profit advocacy group is committed to making everyone aware of conditions in our country’s nursing homes and their recent first ever Nursing Home Report Card shows most states get failing grades.

The Nursing Home Report Card is a project that ranks nursing home quality in the U.S. and compares them state by state. Their goal is to bring awareness to nursing home conditions and offer solutions for improving the quality of life for the residents.

Nursing homes now hold 1.5 million residents and those numbers will swell substantially because baby boomers will become long term care consumers over the next ten years. Research tells us that the perception of nursing homes among seniors is that it is a place to go when you are ready to die. One of seniors’ biggest fears is that they will end up in a nursing home. Not a good reputation and the Nursing Home Report Card illustrates some of the reasons.

In the Mid-Atlantic Region, Maryland and Virginia nursing homes received very poor grades. Maryland received and F in the percentage of nursing homes with deficiencies and ranked 41 out of 50 states in this metric. Nine out of 10 Virginia nursing homes were cited a deficiency for violating federal or state laws.

The District of Columbia ranked also received a grade of F in the percentage with deficiencies while Virginia managed a grade of C. Maryland received a C grade in the category of direct care staffing hours with VA coming in with a D and D.C. achieving a score of B.

The report card concluded that Maryland is the worst nursing home state in the Mid-Atlantic Region and Virginia’s nursing home care is second from the bottom in the Mid-Atlantic Region, scoring the region’s worst grade in professional nurse hours per resident per day. Washington D.C. has the highest percentage of facilities with deficiencies at 100%, the worst when compared to other states.

If you would like to see how the states rank and their respective report card grades visit Nursing Home Report Cards. Isn't it time for our state legislators to begin looking into policies and procedures that will ensure the best care for our nursing home residents? Just remember one day you could be living in one of these deficient nursing homes.