At some point in life everyone confronts mortality. We confront the inability of the ones we love to live independently and ultimately, for many people this means nursing homes and assisted care facilities. Elderly and disabled people are among our most vulnerable  citizens and despite the best of intentions we cannot be present with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to observe the quality of care they receive.

Consequently, it is vitally important for the public to have access accurate and comprehensive information regarding nursing home and assisted care facilities.

There are an increasing number of sources for this information. One reliable advocacy group is NCCNHR or the National Citizen's Coalition for Nursing Home Reform .

NCCNHR focuses this month on a new report promulgated by the University of California at San Francisco regarding nursing homes.

The data was collected from more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide with more than 1.6 million beds and much of it is deeply disturbing.
In today's blog we will focus on overall quality of care. Tomorrow staffing problems will be examined and on Monday it will be the residents themselves. 

First, more than 144,000 deficiencies for violations of federal regulations were issued in 2008 an overall increase of 7.5% since 2003. More than a quarter of all nursing homes surveyed received deficiencies for poor care quality , "where facilities caused harm or jeopardy to residents."

44% failed to "ensure a safe environment for residents", 36% violated food sanitation regulations and more than 21% were cited for deficiencies in each of the following categories: infection control ( see ), pressure sores, incorrect administration of drugs and medications, poor housekeeping, poor record-keeping ( we see this in every nursing home negligence or malpractice case) and failure to provide comprehensive care plans.

Overall 31% of the nursing homes received deficiencies for failure to meet professional standards.
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