Americans are living longer lives than in previous generations, which means a lot of people have to think about long-term care issues for their loved ones. For many years, nursing homes were the most predominant form of managed long-term care. However, there are more options for seniors who don’t require the 24-hour monitoring that nursing homes provide. The rise of assisted living facilities has been a double-edged sword. It gives more options for seniors, but they have fewer regulations. The increase in the number of ALFs has lead to a shortage of skilled workers needed to run these facilities properly.
As the baby boomer generation grows older, every state is seeing a dramatic increase in the senior population. In Florida, this growing senior population from residents is supplemented by people who choose to retire in Florida. Florida has a higher concentration than most of the country. New ALFs are being constructed to meet the growing demand for these facilities.
Unfortunately, they are building so many new ALFs and in-home care agencies that there aren’t enough qualified people to provide the necessary assistance. Working in a nursing home or assisted living facility can be a challenging job at the best of times, and the pay isn’t high enough for many people actively pursue a career in the field. And the physical demands of the job that involves moving patients around further limits the pool of people who can do the work. So there aren’t enough new skilled workers being produced to fill the jobs being created by this ALF boom.
A lack of personnel for ALF matters more than people think. It’s true that ALFs don’t have to provide as many services as nursing home workers, but ALFs still require enough trained staff members to perform certain functions for the residents. When facilities are understaffed, residents don’t get the level of attention and care that the family members expect.
There are situations when an ALF will use employees in ways they shouldn’t because they don’t have enough trained workers to perform the job correctly. In either scenario, the quality of care residents receive from ALFs is likely to suffer as a result of this shortage. And there’s no quick way to solve the problem other than increasing pay rates to encourage more people to learn the necessary skills.
There’s not much that family members can do on their own about the shortage of skilled ALF workers, but they should check in with loved ones regularly to make sure they are receiving the care they should. If a facility knows that family members are monitoring their staffing to make sure no rules are being broken, the facility is more likely to do what it takes to keep the operation adequately staffed.
Though ALFs have fewer restrictions on them than a nursing home, there are still minimum staffing requirements they have to maintain. If they are operating understaffed and the residents suffer. As a result, it could be a case of elder neglect. If you have any questions about elder abuse or neglect in North Florida, download the Elder Abuse Guide from Steve Watrel, P.A. And if you have any questions about the care your loved one should receive at a nursing home or ALF, contact the Law Firm of Steve Watrel, P.A. to schedule a free consultation.