The Impact of Understaffing

The issue of understaffing in nursing homes is not a new topic for this blog. As a major problem affecting nearly every nursing home in America, staffing standards and understaffing have become a huge talking point in the industry. To better understand the problem and offer real solutions, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) conducted a study. Additionally, action is currently needed to stop a bill that could negatively affect nursing home residents. Here’s what you need to know.

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The Impact of Understaffing

Released earlier this month, the Consumer Voice study surveyed 120 nursing home residents. The questions focused on staffing and quality of care as a result of staff shortages or other issues. This study, among other staffing studies, comes in the wake of the Biden administration’s push for nursing home policy change. While the focus on staffing problems is typically seen as a good thing, the industry has seen some pushback.

The most shocking number from the Consumer Voice study titled “The Impact of Understaffing on the Daily Lives of Nursing Home Residents” is the number of residents who believe their facility is inadequately staffed.

“88% report they do not have adequate staff in their facilities to meet the care needs of all residents.”

Additionally, 87% said that the lack of staff negatively affects them every single day, or at least several times per week. Everything from morning routines, medications, every day hygiene needs, activity attendance, and meals suffer when there is not a sufficient staff-to-resident ratio—something the staffing standard seeks to fix.  

“73% miss activities because there are not enough staff to help them participate.”

Some common, and now well-known statistics, show that low staff numbers can lead to injuries, worsening health, poor mental health, and overt neglect or even abuse. 

“Not having adequate staff is the source of an alarming number of nursing home neglect cases. Without enough nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNA) to provide such basics as food, water, bathing, and movement, it is impossible to provide acceptable levels of care.”

Nursing Home Abuse Center

While 120 residents may not seem like a large sample for a study, it is important to remember that the average number of beds per nursing home is 107. And an entire nursing home of neglected residents is one nursing home too many. Everyone has a right to dignity and quality care, which is why it is important to address the staffing issue so both staff and residents are well-taken care of.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.