New Jersey Looks to Improve Staffing Ratios
Often, many of the problems that occur in nursing homes are a direct result of terribly insufficient staffing. This knowledge is born out in studies that show a direct correlation between staffing ratios and quality of care.
Despite all of this clear evidence, many facilities only meet the bare minimum hours required under state regulation. Some aides have told me the ratio on their day shift at a nursing home was as high as 1 aide to 14 residents. For those unaware, aides are the people who feed, bathe, and transfer residents, and they are also responsible turning and repositioning any residents who are at risk for developing bed sores. Having only 1 person in charge of caring for 14 patients at the same time is a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Fortunately, New Jersey is looking to change this problem. As reported in NorthJersey.com, there is movement in the legislature to set better minimum staffing ratios.
Given that low staffing correlates to poor care and catastrophic injuries, it is shameful that nursing home facilities can only be pushed to increase staffing by actual legislative action, but these measures will hopefully pass and drive better care.