New Mexico residents will be interested in a recent report on nursing home neglect. A recent report, which was possible because the government adopted a new method of collecting staffing data, suggests that the country’s nursing home staffing problem may be a bit worse than originally thought, especially on weekends. The results of the report were communicated by at least one major media outlet.
The news came as the result of an analysis of the data that the government recently gathered from several thousand nursing homes. The collected data pertained to the homes’ daily payrolls. In prior years, nursing homes did not have to provide this documentation when reporting their staffing levels to the federal government.
The analysis confirmed anecdotal evidence that nursing home staff are oftentimes stretched too thin to do their jobs adequately. Staffing numbers at homes tended to fluctuate wildly, dipping to very low numbers on the weekends. The analysis suggested that in some homes, the number of residents for which any staff member had responsibility was nearly double the normal caseload during the work week.
Short staffing can create a dangerous situation for this country’s 1.4 million nursing home residents. Even when the weekend staff is doing its best, the rush of doing the most essential things, like taking patients to the bathroom and making sure they get food and medicine, can mean other important tasks get cut out of the routine. For instance, turning a patient can get overlooked, and this can lead to bedsores.