Top rated services for senior care is a rare find in the south. “The call from the nursing home came just before dawn, jolting Martha Sherwood awake. During the night, fire ants had swarmed over her 85-year-old mother, injecting their stinging venom into Natalie Sealy’s face, arms, hands and chest.
“She was just lying there being eaten alive,” said daughter Billie Pender, who said she and her sister had repeatedly complained about a broken windowsill in their mother’s room at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The Sept. 2 attack devastated Sealy, a retired bank teller with dementia. “She went steadily downhill,” dying in late March, said Sherwood, who brought a lawsuit against the home.
Their mother had chosen the for-profit facility two years earlier because it was near her adult children. The family didn’t know that Parkview scored poorly on staffing and other quality measures. This year, Medicare rates it one star out of a possible five stars — the lowest rating possible — on Nursing Home Compare, which was designed by the federal government to help consumers choose a long-term care facility.The problem for Sealy’s family and residents of many parts of the country is they have few, if any, higher-rated options if they want their loved ones close by. In 11 states, 40 percent or more of nursing homes get the two lowest ratings, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)
Other states with at least 40 percent of homes ranked at the bottom two rungs include North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.”
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