Shopping for the Right Nursing Home

Nursing Home Wheelchair Resident

Nursing Home WhisleBlowers Not Liked

When a worker in a nursing home spots abuse, it takes character to stand up and say something instead of standing by and remaining silent. If more workers would do as the two nurse assistants at the Road’s Princeton Place Nursing Home did, our nation’s nursing homes would cease to be a cess pool of abuse of nursing home patients.

Nursing home whistleblowers fired

More than a month ago two nurse assistants at Bandera Road’s Princeton Place nursing home started noticing problems. Sandra Lujan, a four-year veteran of the facility, claimed she saw elderly patients with abnormal and excessive bruising, including bruises in the shapes of fingers and torn skin on faces. Sonia Roman, a nurse assistant at Princeton Place for two years, also saw similar bruising. She also questioned whether there was enough staff to care for all 134 patients, saying many were routinely left unattended. She even confronted one nurse she saw verbally abusing and threatening an elderly patient.

Last month both brought reports of abuse and neglect to the nursing home’s administration. Within hours both were suspended for insubordination and eventually fired. The allegations are contained in a wrongful termination suit Lujan and Roman filed in Bexar County this week. Princeton Place administrator Joan Heinen declined to comment on the allegations, saying she hadn’t yet read the lawsuit…. more


Shopping for the right nursing home

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 By Ron Ford

Nursing Home Reform Act

In 1987, Congress enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act, requiring nursing homes to provide a high level of care in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid patients. However, according to Trudy Lieberman of Consumer Reports, most states are not enforcing the act properly because of pressure from the nursing home industry. It is a practice, she says, that occurs across the nation.

A four-step process

Medicare, in its pamphlet “Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home,” recommends a four-step process: (1) Find out about nursing homes in your area, (2) Compare the quality of the nursing homes you are choosing, (3) Visit the nursing home and (4) Choose the home that best suits your needs.

(1) Finding out

Medicare suggest beginning with personal recommendations from friends, family, medical professionals and other trusted people. Then you may wish to check the Eldercare Locator at, which lists and rates facilities by locality. Medicare offers a similar service with its Nursing Home Compare at

Consumer Reports has also just released its fifth Nursing Home Quality Monitor list of the 10 best and the 10 worst nursing homes in each state. Each listing had to excel or completely fail in at least one of the “quality indicators” during more than one inspection to be included on the respective lists.

(2) Compare quality

Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare is a good place to go for this as well. It rates the quality of nursing homes via its “five star” rating system.

But don’t rely totally on the Medicare rating, says Jocelyn Montgomery of the California Association of Health Facilities. She says you need to dig a little deeper on the site. Be sure to click on “staffing” and “health inspections” for a more detailed survey of the facility. See if the facility has been cited, what for, and how many times. Finally, click on the “state survey agency” tab for contact information for the local long-term care ombudsman. Give that official a call, too. more…


Nursing Home Staff is Critical for Good Care

Bottom line is that in the choosing of a Nursing Home, whether it be a nursing home in the state of Indiana, or Illinois, or Texas, or any other state, there are some critical things to know. One needs to do some homework. Look at the history. Look at the “report card” of the nursing home. What is their score? And most of all, look at the staff. You can tell a lot just by visiting and looking at the staff. Are they professional? Well groomed? Do the nursing assistants display an attitude of kindness towards the residents, or do they appear to be merely tolerating them? Visit the nursing home where you might consider placing your loved one. Don’t just talk to the admitting person, or the administration. Find someone in there to actually visit. Spend time with some of the residents and talk to them. Talk to someone who is visiting a loved one. Ask how they like the service.


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