It is no secret that America’s nursing homes and assisted living centers are in a state of crisis. One of the major problems inherent with nursing homes is that the laws which govern them are often decades-old. Additionally, funding can be a big concern. Government funding is often very low and it is difficult to penetrate into the finances of privately owned nursing homes.
The situation is very complicated. However, there are some concrete steps that we must take in order to reform our nursing homes. According to the AARP, nursing homes must hire more registered nurses, reduce social isolation and make nursing homes smaller on the whole.
More nurses mean higher quality care
Nursing homes that have more registered nurses on staff have lowered instances of death among residents. However, the current federal laws on the books merely mandate that there is a registered nurse on staff for eight consecutive hours a day. This means that there are 16 other hours where there may be no nurse on duty. More nurses mean better care.
Social isolation and size
Social isolation is a problem that attacks both the mental and physical health of our seniors. There is considerable evidence showing that social isolation comes with a much higher risk of ailments like dementia, coronary heart disease, and stroke.
Many nursing homes have the unpleasant feel of hospitals. Smaller nursing homes staffed with abundant CNAs result in happier seniors and better health. Plus, most people do not wish to feel as though they are residing in a hospital. Additionally, these smaller homes may be more energy-efficient and save money.