Advocate Speaks Out

The Charlotte Observer had a scary article by William Lamb on the nursing home crisis in North Carolina. Lamb is a board member of the advocacy group Friends of Residents in Long Term Care. The same crisis exists in South Carolina, maybe worse. Lamb is a well-known advocate for improved conditions for residents in long-term care facilities for over 30 years.

First and foremost, there cannot be quality of care and quality of life for nursing home residents without adequate staffing. Staffing shortages in N.C. nursing homes have reached a crisis point, leading to inadequate care at best and deaths of residents at worst.

Lamb also supports President Biden’s call for a federal minimum safe staffing requirement. The current federal law requires sufficient staff to attain or maintain the highest level of resident well-being possible.

Many states have adopted minimum staffing requirements. Unfortunately, North Carolina is not one. We shouldn’t wait for the federal government. Research shows that 4.1 hours of nursing care and RN coverage 24 hours a day are needed so that residents do not decline.

Unsafe staffing causes higher risks for malnutrition, weight loss, pressure injuries, preventable falls and infections. North Carolina is participating in a project called Essential Jobs, Essential Care to improve jobs for direct care workers.