CHICAGO, IL – Nursing homes across the United States have faced the crisis of being severely understaffed, forcing many to close. A recent survey by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) shows 60% of nursing homes are experiencing worse staffing situations since the beginning of the year; furthermore, 87% of nursing homes face moderate or high staffing shortages.
Nearly 98% of nursing homes in the U.S. are experiencing difficulty hiring staff while still asking nursing home staff to work overtime while 71% have been forced to hire temporary agency staff. Nursing homes have tried to implement strategies to recruit and retain staff including improving workplace culture, promoting staff, paid staff training/education, offering bonuses, and increasing wages.
With more than 1.5 million residents living in nursing homes across the nation, there are a lot of jobs to be filled.
Private equity firms buying out nursing homes
Roughly 70% of nursing homes are own by for-profit organizations, per the Kaiser Family Foundation. When private equity firms purchase nursing homes, they cut costs and lower the standard of care they provide to residents – which could be the leading cause of why nursing home facilities can’t hire or retain staff.
President Biden has expressed concern over the trend of private equity firms buying nursing homes.
Redesigning senior care in nursing homes
Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health professor John Rowe said the best way to resolve the nursing home crisis for the long-term should involve changing the nursing home model to deliver higher quality care and learning safer practices for future pandemics.
Nursing homes not only help with everyday care to residents, but provide rehab, care for patients with dementia, and those who suffer from chronic diseases that require around the clock care.
Rowe suggests that those who require rehab that are recovering from a stroke or hip surgery are the most profitable segment who are covered by Medicare for roughly 100 days. He suggests these types of patients are better suited in rehab units on campuses of hospitals.
Furthermore, Rowe suggests patients with dementia would receive better treatment at memory clinic centers which are specifically designed to care for patients suffering from dementia. For those without dementia, there is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which is paid for by Medicare.
For patients nearing the end of life, hospice or at-home hospice care may be the best way to revamp the senior care model in nursing homes.
Has your loved one been neglected in their nursing home in Illinois?
The U.S. Department of Health estimates more than 5 million senior citizens are victims of nursing home abuse or neglect each year. The staffing crisis and solutions don’t seem to be within the near future. If you believe your loved one is being neglected due to the understaffing crisis in their nursing home, contact an experienced nursing home neglect attorney today. The skilled nursing home neglect lawyers at the Dinizulu Law Group have years of experience fighting for those in Chicago and Illinois. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation by calling (312) 384-1920.