Moving an aging parent into a care facility is often difficult for your entire family, and the decision of where your mother or father should live is not one to make lightly. When considering a particular nursing home for your parent, ask that home about the ratio that exists between staff members and residents. Why? When nursing homes have insufficient staff, it has a clear impact on care.
Per PBS, many family members of nursing home residents have long questioned whether their loved ones receive adequate care. New data from the daily payroll records of more than 14,000 nursing homes has revealed some concerning information on the subject.
Research shows that the majority of U.S. nursing homes reported having more caretaking and medical staff in their communities than they actually had. It also showed that nursing homes are particularly prone to understaffing issues during certain times, with many homes experiencing staffing problems on weekends.
Understaffing issues are common across the nation for several reasons. Many medical professionals find that they make more money in other health care settings, such as hospitals, so they quit. Other times, the long hours and other difficult aspects of the job lead to burnout.
Your parent and other nursing home residents are the ones most affected when nursing homes lack adequate staff. Residents may not get mobility help when they need to go to the bathroom or get out of bed, leading to falls. Without enough staff members around to shift them, some residents may develop bedsores and associated complications.
If you suspect your parent’s nursing home has understaffing issues, ask more questions. Consider asking how the staff-to-resident ratio differs on weekends compared to during the week.