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Chronic understaffing is a real problem in nursing homes

NewsNursing Home Neglect   June 24, 2017

Nursing homes in Ohio deal with a variety of issues, but none is perhaps as pervasive and intense as chronic understaffing. In fact, this problem could be the difference between life and death.

A recent article on highlights the problem, and this post will touch on some of the most distressing aspects.

Patients suffering

One of the care centers with the lowest staffing numbers was Evergreen Manor Nursing Home. As a result of the low staffing numbers, two residents who had incontinence were forced to stay in their wet beds way too long. Some residents also had to wake up at 3:45 in the morning to ensure they would get breakfast. At times, this place had only two or three aides for 58 residents. Many could not get showers when they needed them.

Minimum requirements already too bare-bones

Ohio already has relatively low minimum requirements as to how many hours of patient care to provide per resident per day, so it is even more alarming when care centers fail to meet this standard. Currently, Ohio requires that daily care be a minimum of 2.5 hours. For-profit centers reported an average of 3.77 hours daily, with nonprofits faring better at 4.47 hours.

According to various experts, the ideal minimum requirement would be anywhere from 4.1 hours to 4.5 hours daily. Part of this is because residents today need more help than before. For example, hospitals release some patients while they are still in need of great assistance. Unfortunately, 84 percent of care centers in the state fell below 4.5 hours of care per resident day. (The nationwide figure is 78 percent, lower than Ohio’s but still too high).

The consequences of improper care can be devastating. Residents may be more likely to suffer life-threatening injuries and abuse. If someone you love is in such a situation, it may be wise to consult an attorney.