I want to take a moment to salute those members of the news media who have the courage to expose the truth about the reality of problems within the nursing home industry! It must be more difficult to buy the silence of the news media (not to mention us blog owners) than it is to come up with enough money to bribe some state politicians!

Recent articles published in the Boston Herald, Louisville Courier-Journal, Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader and Indianapolis Star newspapers have shed much light into the truly frightening reality of many nursing homes.  The Indianapolis Star investigative report (published this past Sunday, March 7, 2009) makes clear that (at least when it comes to nursing homes within the state of Indiana, which is the focus of the article) the following equations are clearly at play within the nursing home monopoly:

* Staff-to-resident ratios in for-profit nursing homes are much lower than in non-profit facilites.
* While for-profit facilities claim they can’t afford to hire more nursing staff, their CEO’s make much more money than do executives of non-profit nursing homes.
* The lower the staff-to-resident ratio = the lower the quality of care = increased health problems for nursing home residents.

Ya’ think?!?  And to think that some readers wonder why I rail against corporate greed on this blog as often as I do!?! It all goes back to the Biblical expression, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”  And evil (as I understand the nature of real evil) is all-too-present within the for-profit sectior (which is by far the largest sector) of the nursing home industry. Nursing home “evil” places the safety and care of residents below the craving for increased earnings by CEOs and COOs who often earn literally millions of dollars per year, while the Certified Nurses Aides (the front line caregivers) barely more than minimum wage!

(Update: Saturday, 3/20/10: I was able to find out the direct website address for The Indianpolis News’ excellent investigative feature that focused on problems with nursing homes in Indiana. You find the link to view Crisis of Care Among State Nursing Homes under the Blogroll feature on the left side of this page.)

For those of you who live in Indiana, please contact your state legislators to ask them to pass minimum staffing regulations for nursing homes within the state!  Indiana and Kentucky are among only 13 states that are dumb (or corrupt) enough to not have nursing staff-to-resident minimums in place.