COLUMBUS – The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a division of the Ohio Department of Aging, has released results of the 2017 Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey. The survey, conducted through face-to-face interviews with residents of nursing homes and residential care (assisted living) facilities, gauges residents’ satisfaction with an array of focus areas related to their care and everyday life.
The statewide average score for resident satisfaction in nursing homes was 77.8 (out of 100). The statewide average score for resident satisfaction in assisted living facilities was 85.2 (out of 100). Full facility-specific satisfaction survey reports are available on the Long-Term Care Consumer Guide website (www.ltc.ohio.gov).
“For a decade and a half, the Long-Term Care Consumer Guide has helped older Ohioans and their families make one of the most difficult and important decisions in their lives or that of a loved one,” said Erin Pettegrew, Acting State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. “The guide and its annual satisfaction surveys are also valuable resources for facility staff and leadership as they continue to reach toward a higher bar for quality.”
“We sometimes forget that these facilities are ‘home’ for those who live there. Residents deserve their homes to be as responsive to their needs and reflective of their interests and values as possible,” added Beverley Laubert, Interim Director of the Department of Aging. “Scores in this and other surveys show us that person-centered care not only drives customer satisfaction upward, but also leads to higher quality of life and better health outcomes.”
The 2017 Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey was conducted between July and December 2017 by Vital Research, LLC, through a competitive contract with the Department of Aging. Surveyors conducted structured face-to-face interviews with a random sample of residents in each facility. A total of 23,145 residents in 963 nursing homes and 12,849 residents of 687 assisted living facilities were interviewed. Slightly more than half of each type of facility (501 nursing homes and 357 assisted living) scored above the statewide average.
In addition to overall satisfaction, the survey measures how well specific aspects of the facility meet the residents’ needs and expectations. Areas explored include environment, choice and quality of meals, safety, care, staff and how residents spend their time, along with others. In both types of facilities, residents were most satisfied with the environment (e.g., cleanliness, privacy) and care. Lower satisfaction was reported with meals and how residents spend their time.
“With this data, we can help facilities focus on areas that are most important to the people they serve,” Pettegrew said. “Quality care is a partnership between the facility, the resident, family members and advocates like ombudsmen.”
In 2018, the State Ombudsman’s office is surveying family members of nursing home and assisted living residents. Results of the 2016 Family Satisfaction Survey are currently available in the Long-Term Care Consumer Guide.
Volunteers are another way the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for consumers and helps nursing homes. If you would like to volunteer to visit with nursing home and assisted living residents and help them resolve issues with their care, call the State Ombudsman’s office at 1-800-282-1206 or visit www.stepup.ohio.gov. To learn more about the Ombudsman program, visit www.ombudsman.ohio.gov.