The Nursing Home Reality
The elderly are often forgotten in today’s society. They are put in nursing homes and are visited sporadically, if at all, by their family and friends. The nursing home staff becomes their only source of human interaction. The staff is overworked and underpaid, which leads to high staff turnover. This, in turn, leads to a lack of continuity of care for the residents.
The nursing home staff is responsible for the care of the residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are responsible for providing all of the basic needs of the residents, including but not limited to: bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, transferring, ambulating, and eating. They are also responsible for providing medication to the residents and monitoring their vital signs. In addition to their basic care duties, the staff is also responsible for providing social and recreational activities for the residents.
The staff-to-resident ratio in nursing homes is typically 1:20. This ratio is not adequate to provide the level of care that the residents need and deserve. The staff is overworked and often does not have enough time to provide the individualized care that the residents need. This can lead to the development of bed sores, malnutrition, and dehydration.
The staff is also underpaid, which leads to high staff turnover. The average nursing home staff member makes $9.25 per hour. This is not a livable wage, and many staff members are forced to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. This high turnover rate leads to a lack of continuity of care for the residents. The staff members who are new to the job are not familiar with the residents and their individual care needs. This can lead to serious mistakes being made, such as giving the wrong medication or failing to properly monitor a resident’s vital signs.
The nursing home industry is for-profit. The owners and operators of nursing homes are more concerned with making money than they are with providing quality care for the residents. They cut corners to save money, which often leads to substandard care being provided. The residents are the ones who suffer as a result.
The sad reality of working in a nursing home is that the staff is overworked, underpaid, and often does not have enough time to provide the individualized care that the residents need and deserve.