Elderly Lives Matter®

Nursing home staffing issues are causing problems

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2024 | Assisted Living Facility Abuse and Neglect

How much staffing is enough in a nursing home? Does it matter who tends to patient care the most?

It may depend upon who you ask, but a 2022 Florida law reduced the amount of time that certified nursing assistants (CNAs) were required to spend providing hands-on care with each patient by 20% – or about ½ hour per day, per resident. Advocates said that the additional time for patient care would be made up through support services, like physical therapists and social service providers. 

Nursing homes said it was necessary, but advocates said it would be a disaster

Nursing homes have been struggling to find enough staff for some time now, and cutting costs has been a priority for decades – so they hailed the changes in the law as a welcome relief. 

However, those who advocate for seniors have long fought against such measures. As one expert put it, “Research clearly shows that staffing, particularly among the people who provide direct nursing care, is a key aspect of nursing home quality.” Many expressed fear that the lower care requirements would also mean lower-quality care.

As it turns out, those who decried the changes in the law were correct. New studies on nursing homes indicate that the lower standards of care are, indeed, harming patients. For example, the rate of re-hospitalization for patients in short-stay facilities has jumped 12% under the new rule, with roughly one-fourth of all patients requiring another hospital stay. Emergency room visits, which could be related to falls and other acute situations, also increased by 28%.

This is distressing news if you have a loved one who needs nursing care, whether for a short period of rehabilitation or long-term. If your loved one is injured due to nursing home neglect or abuse, you may want to explore your legal options. 


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