It is not just you!
When you go visit your mom in the nursing home, and you cannot find any nurse’s aides or nurses to help take her to the bathroom, you may wonder if the facility is understaffed, or is it just you.
It is a fact that nursing homes are understaffed and have been for years. Based on payroll records from 14,000 nursing homes, nursing homes had far less staff on duty than previously reported. And the government’s Medicare Nursing Home information contained in the Star Rating system has been manipulated by homes to hide their staffing shortages. There were huge fluctuations in every day staffing. On the lowest staffed days, staffers cared for almost twice as many patients as they did when the staff was at its maximum level of. In one nursing home in Ithaca NY, on some days, there was only 1 aide to care for 18 residents instead of caring for just 8 residents. Many homes had a five-star rating based on false information about the amount of staff that was working.
When nursing homes are short-staffed, the staff that is there is
• helping residents to the bathroom
• delivering meals
• getting the right pain medications to the right residents
But, medical tasks “such as re-positioning a patient to avert bedsores can be overlooked …. sometimes leading to avoidable hospitalizations.”
With this new emphasis on payroll records to verify staffing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid will be lowering the ratings on all nursing homes, that do not comply.
The fact is that short staffing results in poor care, so beware and arm yourself with staffing information. If you have a loved one in a nursing home and feel that he/she isn’t getting the care they need, call the Nancy C. Iler Law Firm at 216-696-5700, and ask for me.