Consider staff when choosing the right senior care facility


Staff shortages are becoming a major factor in deciding whether or not to entrust your loved ones to an elderly care facility

CHARLOTTE, NC – There are many ways to choose an elderly care community for a loved one. You might be inundated with questions to ask. How do I pay? What percentage of staff are vaccinated? Are they for profit or not? The list goes on, however. If you want to focus on one thing, think about staffing. Aging expert Anthony Cirillo is here to help us solve the problem.

How serious is the personnel problem?

  1. According to a investigation published in September by the American Health Care Association, “86% of nursing homes and 77% of assisted living providers said their workforce situation had worsened in the past three months “.
  2. While this has been made worse by Covid, this is nothing new. In my book, Who Moved My Dentures ?, published in 2003, a professional from the New Jersey ombudsman’s office said, “The biggest problem today is staffing and that applies to all states. . Abuse was the biggest problem years ago. It still exists, but now the biggest problem is neglect due to inadequate staff and poor work ethics. “
  3. Confidence in long-term care has eroded. With that, the review of long-term care has dropped. This has an impact on the census, income and budgets. So what is going on? People are let go. Those who remain are invited to do more and to burn themselves out.

Why are people so important?

2. Decreased patient mortality

4. Reduced patient care costs associated with readmission

5. Less fatigue and exhaustion of nurses

6. Increased patient satisfaction

7. Higher Patient Care Survey Scores

So where do you start to assess?

  1. You start by getting help. A geriatric care manager can help you sort out your options. Next, consider a registered nurse who can accompany you on your visit to a location and help you ask the right questions.
  2. Unfortunately, assisted living is less regulated than nursing homes, so it is difficult to get reliable and fast data when assessing staff. However, the government Comparison of retirement homes site, weighs staff when awarding “stars” to facilities. Five stars is considered the highest. It’s a good starting point, but not your end point. When the Star System was first introduced, staffing was self-reported and the data was unreliable. Places with appropriate staffing did not always turn out to be the highest quality places, as the reality was that the membership was overestimated. Since staffing is probably the biggest indicator of quality, well, you can see the dilemma.
  3. US News and World Report also have a reliable rating system for long-term care homes. Another starting point.

At some point, you’ll need to go in person and assess these places. What do you observe and what do you ask?

  1. There are certain minimums in nursing homes that the government requires. The state of New Jersey went further in early 2020 when it enacted legislation that mandated one certified nursing assistant for every eight residents for the day shift; one member of the direct care staff (RN, registered nurse practitioner or CNA) for every 10 residents for the evening shift and one member of the direct care staff (RN, LPN or CNA) for every 14 residents for the shift by night.
  2. So with that, ask questions like:
  • How many aids are there per patient?
  • How many LPNs and RNs are there per patient?
  • How long have the staff been on board? What is the turnover rate?
  • Are temporary people used? What percentage and how often?
  • Is the management stable?
  • Does an establishment perform criminal background checks?
  • As mentioned, you might want to take a nurse with you when you visit a place you are thinking about, as she can ask you even more detailed questions.
  • Oh, and one more thing. Whether a place is for-profit or not is a point of choice. In general, the average for-profit facility was found to provide poorer quality of care than the average non-profit facility.

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