Information about 460 Iowa nursing homes is now available on-line at medicare.gov. Kim Downs, director of nursing home quality improvement for the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care, says you can search the website by city, county or zip code. Downs says you can learn about a nursing home’s ownership, whether it’s a private busines or a not-for-profit operation. There’s also information about the most recent state inspections and surveys. Downs says the website also shows a variety of statistics which can help you judge the quality of the facility. For instance, the website will list the percentage of residents who have chronic pain, or infections or bed sores. Downs says once armed with that information, you should still schedule an in-person visit before making a final decision about a home’s care.Downs says you should talk with the nursing supervisor, and observe how residents are treated. Downs says regular calls and visits after you’ve put a loved one in a nursing home are key. The information on the medicare.gov website is updated every three months. Nearly 30-thousand elderly and disabled Iowans live in a nursing home.
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