And care is being compromising to save the cost of hiring more.
Another report has taken aim at nursing home staffing levels. The New York Times had blasted the nursing home industry for playing fast and loose with staffing numbers. Now a state-by-state report by Families for Better Care finds that understaffing in the industry is chronic.The report is blunt about what providers need to do: hire and schedule more front-line nurses.
The study found that the difference between quality nursing home care and subpar care came down to an average of 22 extra minutes of direct care per resident daily.
While that may not sound like much, filling the gap may be easier said than done.
Labor costs are far and away the largest single expense for nursing homes. Hiring more nurses drives up operating costs. And, according to the study, it's not as if the government, or the residents' loved ones are lining up to pay more for nurses.
So, the report concludes, it's a Catch-22: Providers are being told to hire more workers. But are not given support for the additional costs.
What's it all about? The demand to hire more nurses will continue as the population ages; care will continue to suffer for lack of adequate funding; and, nurses will be asked to shoulder increasing workloads as facilities focus on their bottom lines.
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