Nursing homes across the United States are experiencing high rates of Covid-19 cases, especially in Kentucky. And unfortunately, the news only continues to get worse as those same facilities also see an extreme shortage of staff members.
According to the Lexington Herald Leader, 104 of 285 local nursing homes reported a shortage of staff at least once in a weekly survey done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s roughly around 36% of all homes in Kentucky.
It is a huge red flag to experts as Kentucky approaches winter, where some scientists suggest a resurgence of Covid-19 in the colder months.
Why adequate staff is important
For most nursing home residents, they depend on staff to help with everything from daily tasks to critical health examinations. The nurses also provide food, medication and a source of comfort for most elderly patients in facilities across the state.
It’s detrimental when these facilities are understaffed, leading employees to rush through their daily work and possibly make risky mistakes along the way. For example, most staff members have to diligently wash their hands and sanitize at every opportunity. However, employees could easily forget if they are rushed from resident to resident.
Without adequate staffing, more residents are at risk for negligence and exposure to Covid-19. And for many patients, it could be a fatal diagnosis to receive.
It makes it crucial that children and relatives communicate often with nursing facilities to ensure that their family members are receiving the proper treatments and also experiencing the right protocols to prevent mass outbreaks in their community.