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This week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their first-ever list of the worst performing nursing homes in the nation. These poor-performing facilities have twice as many deficiencies as most nursing homes. As of last month there were over 125 facilities designated as “Special Focus Facilities” (SFF) of the 16,000 nursing homes in the U.S. The 54 with the most appalling performance appear on the list.

Almost every nursing home has blemishes on their record and some sort of deficiency, but the homes on the list have consistently failed to meet standards of care and address shortcomings cited by inspectors. The facilities have been found to be insufficient areas that could compromise the lives of their residents.

Among the deficiencies are medication errors, failure to protect residents from falls or from wandering off facility grounds while incapacitated, and failure to provide sound physical, mental or psychological care.

If someone you love is currently in one of these facilities you can enlist in community advocacy groups to promote change. These groups can be a very effective tool to help spark improvement. The residents themselves can request specific plan to improve care and are able to make suggestions through a Resident Council in many cases. The best option for you to truly protect a loved one may be to consider a change of location, as it these site seem to have a history of below par care.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Nursing Home and Elder Abuse.

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