Your frail mother has finally reached the point where she can't live independently and needs round-the-clock care. Or perhaps, your father's Alzheimers has become so bad that you can't take care of him anymore. Or, your relative needs short term assistance in a nursing home after being in the hospital. Suddenly, you're faced with having to find a nursing home. What types of resources are available to you as you evaluate your choices in Maryland?
Nursing homes are licensed by Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They provide 24 hour care to people with complex medical and assistance needs and are inspected by the state on a regular basis. Complaints from residents, families or staff are also investigated by the state. Information about these investigations, as well as other information abut the quality of nursing homes, is available to the public on several websites.
The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) sponsors a Consumer Guide to Long Term Care (http://mhcc.maryland.gov/consumerinfo/longtermcare/) that provides a variety of resource information about planning and paying for long term care.
The Guide also includes a Nursing Home Search where you can get information on nursing homes in Anne Arundel County. You can learn about the types of residents in the home, how well they do on a range of quality indicators (such as how many residents don't develop pressure sores or are pain-free) and get information about how well they did on state inspections.
We're fortunate in Maryland to also have results from a family satisfaction survey that is conducted by the state. For example, 2010 results for Anne Arundel County nursing homes indicate that:
97% of respondents would recommend Crofton Convalescent & Rehab. Center
94% recommend Future Care Chesapeake
88% recommend Bay Ridge Health Care Center
74% recommend Marley Neck Health and Rehab. Center
54% recommend Knollwood Manor Nursing Home
Here is the link to the MHCC Nursing Home Search:
Another useful resource is the county Department of Aging's Long Term Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can help you know what to look for in choosing the right facility and help with any concerns you have once your loved one is in a facility. Here is more information about the Ombudsman:
Another excellent resource—The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care—is a national non-profit organization that provides a range of information for nursing home residents, family members and others: http://www.theconsumervoice.org/
For other links to nursing home report cards in Maryland and nationwide, check out the non-profit Informed Patient Institute which recently evaluated all of the nursing home report cards in the country: