While a majority of long-term care facilities focus all their efforts on providing the highest standards of service, particularly when it comes to the elderly. However, some nursing homes still fall woefully short, even after a worldwide pandemic.
COVID-19 shined a bright spotlight on the shortcomings, with countless media reports recounting stories of infection control, resident isolation, and even resident neglect and abuse.
The American Health Care Association reported that 60 percent of 795 nursing home providers surveyed revealed that 60 percent are dealing with worsening staffing levels starting in January of 2022. Half are facing high-level staff deficiency. Ninety-eight percent claim difficulty in hiring employees. Sixty-one percent are reacting to the challenges by limiting new admissions.
What families should look for
Identifying any type of deficiency is paramount for those looking for a place for your elderly loved one. A nursing home should provide nothing less than full disclosure. That starts with touring the facility and having conversations with residents, staff, and other family members of current occupants.
Common concerns include:
- Persistent staff shortages and turnover
- High ratios of residents per caregiver
- A lack of nurses that do not meet recommendations
- Continually changing ownership
- Drug overuse, particularly for dementia patients
- Supply shortages
- A long record of resident and family complaints
Families should know that the best nursing homes have to discourage new admissions based on staffing levels. April of 2022 saw the Biden administration propose mandates for minimum staffing levels in nursing home facilities. Pushback by trade groups for more flexibility and labor availability is preventing the enactment of the new standards.