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How nursing home understaffing impacts quality of care

Your parent may struggle with the decision to move into a Florida nursing home, and you may have a hard time with it, too. Before you make a decision on a particular care facility, though, you may want to inquire about its resident-to-staff ratio.

According to PBS, nursing home understaffing is an issue across Florida and throughout the nation. When nursing homes lack adequate staff, the care your loved one receives may suffer as a result.

Data on nursing home understaffing

Data and payroll records from more than 14,000 American nursing homes shows just how pervasive nursing home understaffing is. Research shows that, of the 14,000 nursing homes that submitted payroll records reviewed in a study, seven out of 10 of them lacked adequate staff.

Of the nursing homes and assisted living facilities that lacked adequate staff, most of them had 12% fewer staff members than they needed to be able to offer quality care.

How a lack of staff impacts care

When you place your parent or other elder loved one in a residential facility, you may do so because he or she is unable to live alone and requires help from facility staff. When there are not enough staff members to help your loved one move, eat, groom or use the bathroom, he or she may try to do these things alone, which could cause serious injuries.

Bedsores are another common result of nursing home understaffing. These skin lesions develop when an individual stays in the same position for a significant amount of time, applying pressure on the same area.

If the nursing home you are considering is hesitant to disclose its resident-to-staff ratios, or if the ratios are not what you want to see, keep looking. The connection between understaffing and insufficient care is too significant to ignore.

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