Nursing homes struggle with staffing amid pandemic
DENVER, Colo. (KKTV) - We are learning more about how much the pandemic has impacted nursing homes.
According to a new study by the Colorado Public Interest research Group, 24 percent of Colorado nursing homes reported a shortage of nurses.
The less staff members in our nursing homes means the less people that are there caring for our loved ones. This is particularly alarming because there is a disproportionate rate of death in these facilities.
The study shows, nursing home residents make up 0.05 percent of the nation’s population--but account for 25 percent of COVID-19 deaths.
Cases in nursing homes don’t just harm the residents, but also staff who were already dealing with shortages.
“Anytime people are dying it is pretty important that the public knows. So COVID is having a horrible impact on people in nursing homes and people who work in nursing homes. So we really wanted to highlight a pretty big issue and show there are solutions that can be put in place to help,” Allison Conwell, an advocate with CoPIRG foundation said.
Their research also shows that nursing homes are still trying to overcome shortages of PPE. Right now the group is calling for several policy actions to help --like federal funding for more resources and to hire more staff.
“The pandemic really kind of lit this fuse and a circular nightmare for nursing home staff. So as outbreaks happened in facilities, staff had to quarantine themselves due to exposure which left fewer staff to care for the same amount of residents,” Conwell added.
For more information on nursing homes in the US, click here.
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