Selecting a nursing home in Cleveland, Ohio requires due diligence

The state of Ohio recently released a new consumer guide to help residents choose a long-term care facility or nursing home for themselves or their loved ones. According to, the guide is designed to save people looking for an option in Cleveland and other parts of the state “time, trouble and money.”

On what criteria did Ohio base these ratings? Some of the factors that were included in the evaluations were “how tasty is the food in a particular nursing home”, whether the people residing there received “their medication on time” and whether the residents “are treated with respect” and “they are offered activities to enjoy.”

The survey was conducted by mail in 2012 and was completed by family members of nursing home residents. It focused on “the care your loved ones receive.” A second set of responses came from in-person interviews with actual residents who stay at each facility. The questions asked of these residents were much more specific in nature. reports that this line of questions included:

  • Are the helpers nice when they take care of you?
  • Do the people who work here (in the nursing home) allow you to do the things you want to do for yourself?
  • Do therapists spend enough time with you?
  • Can you go outside whenever you want?
  • Is your room quiet enough?

Statewide, an average of 89.4 percent of residents indicated that they generally liked living in their nursing home and 92.3 percent said they would recommend its facilities to others. When Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County was specifically looked at, those response rates varied from household to household. For example, when only Cleveland-area nursing homes were examined, the resident approval rating peaked at 100 percent, while the low was 59.3 percent.

Although that number is not the lowest in the state (46.6 percent), it is a fairly strong indicator of dissatisfaction. The wide range of data (40.7 percent) also illustrates why selecting a nursing facility in Cleveland can be such an unpredictable proposition.

Perhaps most interestingly, price was not necessarily correlated with satisfaction. For example, in the Cleveland area, the nursing home with the lowest private pay rate per day had a resident approval rating of 93.4 percent and an impressive recommendation rate of 97.6 percent. So how are family members in Cleveland, Ohio expected to make the important decision of choosing a nursing home for their loved ones?

They can check out a resource like the Ohio Long-Term Care Consumer Guide, but they should also consider national surveys like the Best Nursing Homes in the Country. This report, tabulated by US News and World Report, names the long-term care facilities “America’s Best.” Provides overall ratings from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, with a special emphasis on a home’s performance on health, nursing, and healthcare inspections. Such a resource can help decision makers discover how a particular facility really compares, nationally, not just locally.

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