Placing a loved one in an Indiana nursing home is a big decision, but if you do not have the time to devote to your loved one’s growing needs, you may have no choice. Many people who place loved ones in nursing homes do so because their loved ones need far more care than they are reasonably able to provide. Yet, research shows that many nursing homes do not have enough people on staff to provide adequate care for your loved one, either.
Per the American Health Care Association’s National Center for Assisted Living, a survey of about 14,000 American nursing homes showed that 94% of them experienced staffing shortages within a month of the survey taking place. In assisted living environments, 81% experienced staffing shortages within the month preceding the survey.
Why understaffing occurs
Understaffing issues in American nursing homes persist for several reasons. Many such facilities lack adequate staff because they are unable to pay the same salaries as other medical settings, such as hospitals. Many American nursing homes also struggle to provide benefits to employees, and this, too, contributes to understaffing. These issues have become so widespread that 81% of nursing home administrators say that offering better pay and more benefits would help them secure and keep staff members.
How understaffing affects quality of care
When a nursing home lacks adequate staff, residents do not always get the help they need. When they do not get help, it raises the chances of falls, injuries, bedsores and similar hardships.
Before placing a loved one in a care facility, ask the facility’s administrators what the home’s staff-to-resident ratio is.