Deciding to place your loved one in a care facility may be a difficult one. However, many people turn to a nursing home to provide the care and attention their loved one needs.
According to PBS, almost 1.4 million reside in nursing home facilities throughout the country. People rely on the trained nurses and aides employed by these homes to care for their loved ones and ensure their safety. Yet, reports of understaffed nursing homes show that some residents may not get the attention they need from qualified staff.
What does the data say?
Federal data suggests that nursing homes across the country have fewer nurses working on staff, with the lowest numbers on the weekends. In some cases, staff members are responsible for taking care of twice as many residents as they did previously.
Rather than relying on nursing homes’ unverified staff reports, Medicare began gathering data through payroll records. These records show that on some low-staff days, certain facilities had one aide for every 18 residents. Approximately 7 out of 10 homes researched lacked sufficient staff.
How is the quality of care impacted?
Nursing homes require nurses and aides to perform a number of tasks, including delivering medication and meals, bathing and answering residents’ requests for help. Some residents need close attention and there are not enough workers available to ensure they are properly cared for.
Residents may try to care for themselves when they are unable, causing serious injuries that may have been prevented if staff had provided adequate care. Some residents may develop bed sores or other trauma associated with neglect.
When looking for a nursing home for your loved one, make sure you check that they will have the amount of care they deserve.