A new poll by Gallup, conducted between July 5-24, 2023, finds that “most U.S. adults would be reluctant to admit a relative to a nursing home.” Survey respondents give nursing home quality an average grade of “D+”, with 36% saying quality is poor, 6% saying quality fails, and only 1% describing quality as excellent.
Respondents’ concerns are nursing quality (70%), cost (49%), potentially negative impact on mental and emotional health (45%), fear of losing independence (34%), not wanting to die in a nursing home (28%), and physical safety (27%). 42% say nursing homes are not effective “in keeping residents safe from avoidable harms such as infections, pressure wounds, and abuse and neglect.”
Gallup concludes: “[N]ursing homes have much work to do to instill more public confidence in their facilities.” Policies to increase minimum staffing requirements and assure adequate resources “may help improve quality and restore confidence, but these may not be enough.” The Center for Medicare Advocacy has suggested before that nursing home trade associations’ relentless alarmist arguments (that nursing homes do not have enough staff and may need to close) are having an effect. They are reinforcing Americans’ negative views of nursing homes and pushing potential residents and their families to choose other long-term care options.
September 14, 2023 – T. Edelman