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Study: More Staffing Not Enough For Residents With Dementia

Closeup of the hands of a nurse holding the hands of a dementia care patient.

Specialized training and consistent caregiving are key.

Adequate staffing is crucial for providing care for nursing home residents. Proper staffing levels ensure that each resident receives individual attention and care tailored to their specific needs. Adequate staffing also reduces the workload on each caregiver, which can improve the quality of care and decrease the likelihood of nursing home abuse and neglect.

However, a new study has found that adding staff members is not enough to improve the quality of care and outcomes for residents who have dementia.

Researchers analyzed nursing home data from 2017 to 2019, examining factors such as staff hours per resident-day and dementia population percentage, controlling for other factors.

“Our findings highlight the fact that high-quality care involves not only increased staffing, but also specialized training in practices proven to be effective in managing the complexities of this condition, as well as providing a secure environment and maintaining staff consistency,” said Dana Mukamel, PhD, a study author and professor of medicine at University of California, Irvine. UCI.

Residents with dementia need extra care

Several practices have been shown to be effective in helping manage the challenges of dementia in nursing homes. These include:

  • Person-Centered Care: Training staff to understand and cater to residents' individual histories, preferences, and personalities can significantly enhance engagement and satisfaction.
  • Behavioral Management Techniques: Educating caregivers on non-pharmacological strategies to manage challenging behaviors associated with dementia, such as aggression, wandering, or anxiety.
  • Communication Skills: Providing training on how to effectively communicate with dementia patients, who may have difficulty understanding or expressing themselves.
  • Safety and Emergency Procedures: Ensuring staff are proficient in protocols that safeguard residents with cognitive impairments, particularly those who may not be aware of risks or who may behave unpredictably.
  • Therapeutic Activities: Implementing and leading activities that are shown to slow cognitive decline and improve quality of life, such as music therapy, art therapy, and reminiscence therapy.

A final rule is still awaited on a nursing home staffing mandate, which would require nursing homes in the U.S. to provide a minimum of 3.0 hours per patient day of direct care, 0.55 hours of that by a registered nurse and 2.45 hours by a nurse aide.

Nursing home negligence lawyers serving Atlanta

When nursing home facilities don’t meet their responsibilities, their residents can suffer neglect or abuse as a result. However, holding negligent facilities accountable can be difficult. They may deny doing anything wrong and try to cover up their actions. That’s why you need an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer on your side.

The attorneys at Johnson Greer Law Group in Decatur, GA, fight for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. We review hiring and supervision records, investigate financial records, examine medication and treatment records, and interview witnesses. Our lawyers build strong cases and know how to get results for families in Georgia. Our firm is dedicated to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve.

If a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in an Atlanta-area nursing home, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible. Our dedicated legal team can review the details of what happened, discuss your potential legal options, and answer any questions you have. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to talking to you about your potential legal case.

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