By MIKE HUGHES, Prime Times
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Ohio Department of Aging released the results of its 2009 Long-term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey that concluded at the end of the calendar year.
One local facility, the Lancia Belmont Manor nursing home in St. Clairsville, faired particularly well in relation to other facilities both locally and statewide.
A total of 955 nursing homes statewide participated in the survey and Belmont Manor was rated the No. 10 overall such facility in the state.
Belmont Manor, the only nursing home locally to crack the Top 20, finished with a satisfaction score of 96.36 out of 100.
The best part, according to co-owner Guirino C. Lancia, is that the survey took the opinions of the residents themselves.
‘‘We’re proud of how we were rated,’’ Lancia said.
‘‘The agents come in and give questionnaire’s to the residents and interview them and to come in No. 10 out of close to 1,000 in the state is something we are extremely proud of.
‘‘It’s a credit to our fantastic staff because they work realy hard to keep the residents happy.
‘‘From the nurses to the aides and therapy staff, it’s like a little hospital here and they do a fantastic job and that survey proves it.’’
The original Lancia Nursing Home was established in 1949 in downtown Steubenville after Catherine and Guirino Lancia felt a need for such a facility.
The couple had experience caring for their parents and saw the elderly in their communities receiving poor care at home.
Today, the Lancia family owns two facilities, Belmont Manor in St. Clairsville and the Villa Royale in Steubenville.
‘‘Back when they started it, it was before Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,’’ Lancia said. ‘‘It was just about caring for their neighbors and we’ve carried on that tradition.’’
Lancia knows that the key to the success of Belmont Manor is the function of its staff and he feels that being the facility is privately owned provides a small role in that success.
‘‘I think perhaps being privately owned, we can provide a little more feedback to the employees than they might get another facility where they wouldn’t get the acknowledgement,’’ he said.
Individually, the facility received high marks in all areas, from staff to care to the facility itself.
One area in particular, the physical therapy portion of the survey, received perfect marks from respondents.
Lancia credits this to his staff’s approach to therapy with the residents.
In his view, every person eventually is going to get old and lose mobility, that’s unavoidable. But in his estimation, there is “no reason to hurry it along.”
“We have it designed to give aggressive therapy and help our residents return to the highest level of function possible,’’ he said. “If someone breaks a hip, we want them to get back to where they can walk again and take that outlook when designing their treatment.
“At some places, if a person breaks their hip, that’s kind of that and it’s over.’’
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
PICTURED ARE residents and staff from Lancia Belmont Manor in St. Clairsville. Front row, from left, Lena Minor, Karen Spires, Kari Pugh, Lois Smith and Violet Matoska. Back row, from left, Joe Lancia Sr., Chrissy Bell, Carol Griffiths, Brigitte Hartley, Janice White, Karrie McCarthy, Julia Wheeler, Paul Marino, Karen Spires and Guirino Lancia.