More Caregivers, Better Care: NJ Expert Applauds New Nursing Home Staffing Rules

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Increased Staffing Levels to Improve Resident Safety and Well-being

A new federal ruling requires increased minimum staffing levels in nursing homes across the country. This aligns with the state’s own 2020 law on the issue, and according to a local NJ expert, these combined measures are a crucial step towards ensuring better care for our elderly population.

The National Minimums

The new federal regulations require nursing homes receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding to provide a minimum of 3.48 hours of care per resident, per day. This includes a mandated amount of time from registered nurses (RNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

An Expert’s Perspective

The importance of these regulations is highlighted by Crystal, a New Jersey-based expert on long-term care, who points out that many are surprised to learn that some nursing homes lack a registered nurse on-site during certain hours. Given the complex needs of today’s nursing home residents, Crystal emphasizes that these new minimums are essential for ensuring resident safety and well-being.

Building on State Legislation

New Jersey has already taken action on this front. The 2020 state law mandates specific staffing ratios, including one CNA for every eight residents during the day shift and one direct care staff member (RN, LPN, or CNA) for every 10 residents during the evening shift.

The Road Ahead

The combined effect of federal and state regulations is a positive step toward ensuring adequate staffing levels in nursing homes. This translates to more caregivers for residents, which in turn should lead to better overall care.

Staying Informed

As a family member with a loved one in a nursing home, it’s important to stay informed about staffing levels and care quality. Consider talking to facility staff, researching inspection reports, and advocating for your loved one’s needs.

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