Kaiser Health News: Kirkland Nursing Home at Epicenter of Coronavirus Outbreak Shows the Danger to Elderly Residents Nationwide

The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, continues to be front page news across the country and around the world. Perhaps surprisingly, no single place in the U.S. has been affected more profoundly than a skilled nursing facility right here in Kirkland, Washington, in the backyard of AgingOptions’ headquarters. Stories of illness among residents and staff,…

If You’re Comparing Nursing Homes, CMS’s Nursing Home Compare Website is a Good Place to Start – But You’ll Have to Dig Deeper

If you find yourself in the predicament of choosing a nursing home for someone you love, you’ll soon discover that the process is complicated, even daunting.  We’ve written about this subject before on the AgingOptions blog, but this recent article on MarketWatch provides an updated view of this important topic, so we thought it was…

In the Wake of Devastating Wildfires, California Inspectors Find Potentially Life-Threatening Safety Violations at Nursing Homes

Here at AgingOptions, we often talk about how most retirees would do almost anything to avoid being forced into a nursing home as they age. Still, a large number of seniors will find themselves in institutional care someday. While the residents may have to sacrifice some of their independence and mobility, the nursing homes are…

“A Retirement Community That Comes to You” – New York Times Article Spotlights a New Twist on an Old Idea in Senior Living

Seniors planning for their housing needs have traditionally had a fairly limited set of choices. They could age in place, remaining at home, which is the preferred route of the vast majority of aging adults. They could move in with family or with friends. Or they could choose to live in a retirement community, surrounded…

New York Times Report: Dying at Home May Be the First Choice – but it May Not Be the Best Choice for Everyone

Is dying at home overrated? That’s the provocative subtitle that brought a recent New York Times article to our attention. In survey after survey, most Americans say they prefer to die in their own homes, and conventional wisdom says that the familiar environment of home and family is the optimum place to pass away. But…

An Ongoing Scandal: In Spite of Laws on the Books, Many Cases of Elder Abuse are Never Reported to Authorities

Vulnerable seniors living in nursing homes are entitled to the best of care. They should be able to live out their lives in a safe and secure environment. But tragically that is often not the case, and all too often those in charge are never reporting cases of suspected abuse to regulatory authorities – in…

AgingOptions Follow-Up: Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare Web Tool Now Includes Short-Stay Rehab Facilities

For several years families looking for nursing home care for a loved one have relied on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website. This site provides quality ratings for more than 15,000 facilities nationwide, awarding grades of one to five stars in three evaluation categories – health inspections, staffing levels, and clinical data – plus an “Overall”…

Chronic Shortfall in Nursing Staff Triggers Widespread Downgrade of Nursing Homes by CMS

In what Kaiser Health News calls “a crackdown” on short-staffed nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just downgraded the ratings of one-tenth of the nation’s nursing homes. That’s according to this article recently published on the Kaiser Health News website.  The biggest problem area: a chronic lack of nursing staff.…

Doctor with digital tablet talking to family

No Time, No Information: New Research Reveals That Seniors and Families are “Poorly Served” When Choosing a Rehab Facility

Just last week here on the AgingOptions blog, we shared an article from Kaiser Health News showing that many seniors recovering from knee or hip surgery enjoy a better outcome and fewer complications recuperating at home instead of in a rehab facility. (You’ll find that article here.) But what about those who for various reasons…

Kaiser Health News Report: Medicare Cuts Payments to Nursing Homes Whose Patients Keep Ending Up in the Hospital

Nursing home operators across the U.S. are being put on notice by the federal government: if their residents keep winding up in the hospital for reasons that could have been avoided, Medicare plans to hit the nursing homes right in the wallet. At the same time, the feds have announced financial incentives for nursing homes…