Involvement critical to nursing home resident family's satisfaction

Nursing home residents with relatives involved in their care have more satisfied families according to researchers at Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center.

Using data collected from more than 27-thousand family members of Ohio’s nursing home residents, researchers measured satisfaction through 48 items. The report, “The Role of the Family in Nursing Homes: Recommendations to Increase Family Satisfaction with Care,” found 85 percent of families are satisfied with long-term care and involvement is critical.

“Families are important consumers of long-term care services, “ said Amy Restorick Roberts, assistant professor of family studies and social work. “They help to make important choices, such as selecting an appropriate nursing home, and families are also likely to remain involved in the care of their resident loved one after placement.”

Researchers suggest facilities do the following to improve family satisfaction:

  • Welcome a family’s involvement in care.
  • Support family members.
  • Encourage frequent conversations between family members and staff.
  • Invest in quality programs.
  • Clarify responsibilities for care.
  • Increase staff retention.

In addition to a resident’s health and cognition, frequent communication between families and providers, higher facility occupancy rates and nursing home staff retention lead to higher satisfaction.

Ohio was the first state to mandate implementation and public reporting of both resident and family satisfaction. The recommendations of this study were based on the 2012 Ohio Nursing Home Family Satisfaction Survey.

Information on the quality of all Ohio’s nursing homes is accessible through the Ohio Long-Term Care Consumer Guide, where consumers can compare multiple quality indicators when choosing a facility.

This research was funded by a grant from the Ohio General Assembly through the Board of Regents to the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project.