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  • Louvenia Ringuette, RN BSN

Nursing Homes Closing, is it the right thing to do?

Residents in nursing homes have always held a special place in my heart. I volunteered in a nursing home as a teenager, and have work in one a good part of my nursing career. I can thankfully say when I think of a nursing home and/or skilled nursing facility today I do not see the same image. Life in these facilities has improved as resident rights regulations came about. Unfortunately, keeping good staff in facilities has always been an issue, and as a result so has the quality of care a resident received.

I think it is wonderful that residents now have options for where to get their care today. There are some great adult family homes; assisted living facilities and home care agencies out there. They too struggle with staffing issues, as being a caregiver takes a special person, a special set of skills to deal with caregiving on the job and at home, and l takes a toll on your mind and body.

This article discusses empty beds in the nursing home, and possible staffing and quality of care issues surrounding the empty beds. This is a big issue. As admissions decreased staff adjustments must be made in order for a facility to stay afloat. A balance must be found between occupancy rates, and staffing so the residents and family entrusting their, or their loved ones care to these facilities does not end in a bad outcome.

Most residents in nursing homes have heavy care needs, and staffing needs to be adequate to cover their needs. It is sad to see nursing homes close, but if they can't provide the quality of care residents deserve because they can't pay for staff, then it is the only right thing to do. Everyone deserves to have his or her needs meet in a timely, and dignified manner. As healthcare workers our oath is "first do no harm.

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