In New York State, many nursing home residents are neglected because the facilities are significantly understaffed. Most nursing homes are run by corporations that are more interested in increasing their shareholder profit rather than making sure their residents are proprely taken care off. Additionally, the staff is so poorly paid, between $12.50 Upstate NY to $15 an hour in New York City, that it is difficult to recruit people especially during the pandemic. In comparison, fast food workers are making $14.50 an hour in New York.
New laws signed to prevent understaffing will only take effect next year
Recently Andrew Cuomo signed new laws requiring nursing home and hospitals to form clinical staffing committees that include front-line nurses and other direct care staff when setting annual staffing standards for units. Additionally, nursing home facilities will be required to have a minimum daily average of 3 1/2 hours of nursing care per resident. These two laws will only take effect in January 22 and do not include a raise in the minimum wage for workers (read more in Healthcare Dive)
As a results, understaffing for now remains a major problem in multiple nursing homes and reports of neglect are so common that families fear to place their loved ones in a nursing home especially with the number of residents and staffers who died during the first wave of Covid19.
Recently the Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing that was acquired by Center Health Care, based in New York City, was visited by State Health Department inspectors and their report was a nightmare: a resident lying in their bed in “a foul smelling yellow/brown liquid substance from their head to their knees.”, a resident with dementia escaping the building and being returned by a foodservice worker, another resident with dementia and history of sexual assault wandering hallways without supervision … (read more in the Buffalo News).
With the new delta variant spreading fast, nobody wants to live in a nursing home. In a recent opinion in the New York Times, Michelle Cottle look at future options for the aging population.
Read the opinion here