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Most nursing homes lack adequate staff

Many Tennessee nursing home employers have trouble maintaining adequate staff, and there are a number of reasons why this is the case. Low wages coupled with the demanding nature of the job mean that there is considerable turnover in the industry. It also means many nursing homes do not have adequate staff-to-resident ratios. When this happens, the quality of care residents receive often suffers as a result.

Per PBS, nursing home understaffing is a pervasive problem nationwide. Many nursing homes overstate how many workers they have when communicating with the government. How severe is the understaffing issue, and how does it increase health and injury risks for older adults who live in understaffed nursing homes?

Understaffing trends

A study of more than 14,000 U.S. nursing homes revealed that seven out of 10 of them lacked adequate staff. The understaffing issue appears to be even more widespread and problematic on weekends. On weekends, it is not uncommon for on-duty staff to care for twice as many patients as they would when their facilities are fully staffed.

Understaffing consequences

The health and injury risks associated with nursing home understaffing are numerous. For starters, immobile residents may develop bedsores if there are not enough workers around to shift and move them at regular intervals. Falls are also common when nursing homes lack adequate staff.

Immobile residents may need help getting out of bed or going to the bathroom. When there are not enough staff members around to assist them, they may try to do these things on their own, leading to potentially serious falls.

Tennessee residents who have loved ones living in nursing homes may want to inquire about the staff-to-resident ratios in place at those homes.