This is one of those good news bad news kind of stories.  First, the good news.  Of the five Louisiana nursing homes discussed in a report by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, none listed were here in the Shreveport/Bossier City area.

Now, the bad news.  The report from this federal agency does show poor conditions and sub-par treatment of patients.  That means that some of the elderly, those people who have earned our respect and deserving of our care and attention, are living in conditions that are less than the government deems standard.  And we can only imagine where that line might be.

From what we've learned from the Louisiana Radio Network, this is the first time the federal agency has made this annual report public, so we don't have any idea what it might have looked like previous to this year, but according to Louisiana Department of Health spokesperson, Bob Johannessen, this could help us all make more informed decisions when it comes to long term care for our loved ones.   “The more information an individual has about homes that they might be considering for loved ones, the better they are going to be able to chose a home that works best for their needs.”

Concerns on the list include things like staff abuse, failure to follow vital healthcare protocol, unsanitary living conditions and a number of other disturbing reports.

While 400 facilities were cited nationwide, five of these were here in Louisiana.  Tioga Community Care Center, St. Helena Parish Nursing Home, Lake Charles Care center, South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab, and Belle Maison Nursing Home were named.

Johannessen says that Belle Maison Nursing Home in Hammond is a repeat offender, and has been given a “special focus” that will hopefully lead them to improved care.