Courtesy of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

Nursing home residents are entitled to and deserve high quality, person-centered, and person-directed, care. Yet, due to inadequate staffing many nursing home residents go without this care. Countless studies have documented that residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are more likely to suffer harm and neglect. Since the Biden Administration announced its intention to propose a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes, the focus has been on how a staffing standard would hurt nursing home owners and operators. Often lost in the discussion are residents, the people who suffer the consequences of understaffing.

To bring the focus back on residents, Consumer Voice surveyed over 120 nursing home residents in the fall of 2023, asking for their perspectives on staffing and how they are affected by staffing levels daily. The results were striking.

The majority of residents who responded to the survey, 88%, stated their facilities lacked the staff necessary to meet the needs of the residents living in their facilities.

KEY FINDINGS Of the residents who responded to the survey:

• 88% report they do not have adequate staff in their facilities to meet the care needs of all residents.
• 87% say understaffing affects them every day or several times per week.
• 72% wait longer than they would like to get out of bed in the morning.
• 60% are woken up earlier than they would like.
• 73% miss activities because there are not enough staff to help them participate.
• 39% are unable to eat in the dining room if and when they choose.
• 57% report their meals do not come on time.
• 58% report they are not given their medications on time with 56% of those respondents stating their medication is late several times a week and 24% stating their medication is late everyday.
• 72% wait longer than they would like to take a shower.
• 74% report that they, or someone they know in their facility, has been neglected or hurt because of understaffing.

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