Accepting the fact that one of your parents may fare better in a nursing home or continuing care facility can be tough, and the process of finding that ideal assisted living situation often proves to be, as well. When you place your loved in in a residential home, chances are, you want to feel confident in knowing that the care he or she will receive is comparable to the care you, yourself, would provide. Regrettably, this is often not the case.
One of the most widespread problems currently affecting the quality of care at Colorado and American nursing homes is understaffing.
Causes of nursing home under staffing
There are several factors that play a role in the prevalence of nursing home understaffing. In some cases, and particularly in more rural communities, nursing homes experience considerable turnover due to the long hours and high-stress nature of the work environment. Additionally, operational costs for assisted living facilities are often extremely high, and many facilities struggle to employ enough qualified medical professionals because they cannot afford to compensate them properly.
Consequences of nursing home understaffing
Patients who reside in nursing homes typically require more care than the average senior, and in some cases, they require assistance with everything from eating to going to the bathroom. In fact, according to The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, the federal government has determined that every resident needs at least four hours of care each day.
When there is not enough staff to tend to your loved one, he or she may experience, at best, discomfort. In some cases, however, bed sores and more serious issues can result, and this is particularly true among patients who are completely immobile.
Those who work in understaffed facilities may also face heavy workloads and long, unfavorable hours, which can lead to bitterness, exhaustion and frustration. In some cases, workers may take out their frustrations on residents.
When nursing homes are understaffed, residents can fall victim to poor care. When seeking a nursing home for your loved one, consider asking about turnover and staff-to-patient ratios.