Most residents of Rhode Island nursing homes live there because they require more supervision or assistance than their loved ones are able to provide. Yet, research shows that most nursing homes do not have enough staff members on duty to give residents the level of care they need to avoid falls and bedsores and otherwise stay safe and healthy.
Per PBS, many families have long questioned whether their loved ones living in nursing homes were getting enough help and attention from nursing home staff. Research shows that, in many nursing homes, these fears have merit.
Nursing home understaffing statistics
How severe is the nursing home staff shortage in America? A studying involving payroll records from more than 14,000 nursing homes shines a light on the subject, revealing that seven in 10 American nursing homes had fewer workers on staff than reported to the government. On average, each understaffed nursing home had a workforce down 12% from what the home reported.
Nursing home understaffing risks
When nursing homes lack enough staff members, the quality of care residents receive suffers. For example, residents who need mobility assistance may not get help when they have to go to the bathroom or otherwise move about, raising the chances of nursing home falls.
Residents who live in understaffed nursing homes may also be more prone to infections, weight loss, dehydration and related issues that may impact health and quality of life.
Many nursing homes see considerable fluctuation in staffing levels from one day to the next. However, understaffing issues are often most severe on weekends.