Nursing Home Staff-to-Resident Minimums Urged After Resident Death
According to a consumer advocacy group, staffing levels are dangerously low at some Kentucky long-term care facilities, raising concerns about the risk of nursing home neglect and abuse by overwhelmed staff.
Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform are calling on Governor Steve Beshear to push an executive order that would place a minimum nursing home staff-to-resident ratio at every long-term care facility in the state.
The request came after the death of a brain injured nursing home resident, Joseph Larry Lee, who walked out of Falmouth Nursing Home undetected and was found dead near a local river weeks later.
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The group is asking Governor Bashear to call an emergency session of the state’s general assembly, but officials from the Governor’s office have balked at the idea, indicating that the situation does not merit that kind of emergency. Calling a special session would reportedly require a five day minimum, at a cost of $300,000 per day to taxpayers. Instead, Beshear’s spokespeople said the issue should be brought up when regular sessions resume in January.
Understaffing is a problem at nursing homes throughout the United States, and it is often cited as a significant contributing factor in many nursing home negligence lawsuits. Previous studies have drawn a direct connection between nursing home staff levels and the quality of care received by residents.
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