What Are the Most Common Complaints About Nursing Homes?

There are several complaints against nursing homes. These range from poor-quality food to staff understaffing. Here are some of the most common issues.

Staff Service Quality

Insufficient staffing is a big complaint at nursing homes, as residents complain about poor response time and feel ignored. Staffing levels are not always up to scratch, either. According to the American Society of Nursing Home Administrators, one in five nursing homes reported understaffing in 2020.

This is primarily due to insufficient training and a lack of resources. Many nursing homes do not adequately staff their nursing units, making it difficult to keep up with the demand. Staff and employee shortages have placed increased pressure on nursing homes, leading to poor service and a lack of social interaction.

In addition, residents may feel socially isolated as they are surrounded by strangers and have no contact with family or friends. When staffing is inadequate, residents are at risk for abuse and neglect. For example, nurses can be impatient and violent toward residents with limited time to provide care. Ultimately, understaffing can lead to physical abuse and neglect.

In addition, some employees may be hired without background checks and will be overworked and may even be unable to care for their residents properly. These situations often lead to several negative outcomes for residents.

Poor Quality Food

One of the most common complaints about nursing homes is the food quality. Some handled cases by Breakstone, White & Gluck revealed that many nursing homes struggle to prepare various meals that suit the diverse tastes of older residents. They also face employee shortages and may not have enough time to interact with residents and families. Consequently, the residents may feel isolated and lonely.

Many facilities are not sanitary, and staff should be adequately cleaned and disinfected. Some nursing homes don’t wash their hands frequently, which can lead to cross-contamination. Poor food can cause gastrointestinal problems and lead to dehydration, an unnecessary burden. This is why the quality of food in nursing homes is essential.

Lack Of Social Stimulation

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a nursing home for an elderly loved one is the social life of the residents. The social life of residents is important, but nursing homes often fail to provide it.

As a result, residents report feeling lonely and isolated and cannot engage in social activities with their families and friends. Good facilities encourage regular social activities and provide communication aids for residents and visitors to have meaningful interactions.

A Norwegian study found that more than a third of residents reported feeling lonely at least some time. The majority of residents in nursing homes were female, and the mean stay in institutions was 1.8 years. A survey revealed that 9% of residents felt lonely constantly or often, while 26% reported feeling lonely sometimes. Almost half of the respondents were widows.

The study found no significant differences between the groups in terms of the Charlson comorbidity index, the mean number of medications, and the proportion of residents with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or cancer.

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