Inspection cuts won't compromise care at Cedar Rapids nursing ho - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Inspection cuts won't compromise care at Cedar Rapids nursing home


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)-- Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's administration cut a fourth of its nursing home inspectors this week.  The Iowa Department of inspections and appeals will now have 28 rather than 38 inspectors to oversee the 30,000 residents in over 400 nursing homes in the state.

The cuts concern advocates for the elderly, because a shortage of inspectors already puts Iowa at risk of failing to meet minimum federal standards for overseeing nursing homes.
Higley Mansion residential care facility in Cedar Rapids won the 2009 award from former Iowa governor Chet Culver for outstanding care.  They passed all of the inspections from the state department.  Peggy Powell is an administrator at Higley and says they'll continue to strive for high ratings even if they're not inspected as often. 

"The elderly are just wonderful, and you want them to be safe, and you don't want them to have complaints because you want to take care of them. That's what we're here for," says Powell.

Anita Kilpatrick moved into the nursing home six months ago and feels very safe.  She says the high inspection ratings are what helped her family choose Higley.  She encourages everyone to research nursing home options while they're healthy enough to make an informed decision. 

"I would say you need the inspectors because we do not want our elderly people abused but I don't worry about it here.  I like the care here.  I feel very at home," says Kilpatrick.

Governor Terry Branstad said the state needs to take a more collaborative approach in working with the nursing home industry to improve care.  He says the only message in this reduction is that the state needs to cut back on many of its services across the board. 

But advocates for elderly care say fewer inspectors will make it impossible for Iowa to meet federal guidelines for a new and more intensive inspection process.

To read the full report from the Des Moines Register, click on the link below:


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