January 2, 2020
Understaffing is the most common issue in nursing homes that can lead to abuse and neglect. Overworked and under supervised staff pose a greater risk to patients. Inadequate attention and frustration lead to mistakes and neglect.
This is a serious issue that plagues over 90% of nursing homes. Studies have proven that residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are at a greater risk of malnutrition, weight loss, bedsores, dehydration, infections, and pneumonia. Families of elderly patients are increasingly noticing this problem and are starting to hold nursing homes responsible for the abuses that occur as a result. (more…)
To resolve this issue there is a need for higher minimum nurse staffing standards for U.S. nursing homes based on multiple research studies showing a positive relationship between nursing home quality and staffing and the benefits of implementing higher minimum staffing standards. Studies have identified the minimum staffing levels necessary to provide care consistent with the federal regulations, but many U.S. facilities have dangerously low staffing. Secondly, the barriers to staffing reform are economic concerns about costs and a focus on financial incentives. The enforcement of existing staffing standards has been weak, and strong nursing home industry political opposition has limited efforts to establish higher standards. Researchers should study the ways to improve staffing standards and new payment, regulatory, and political strategies to improve nursing home staffing and quality. (more…)