Poor v. Wealthy

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a report showing the poor get less care than wealthy residents. Nursing homes in “disadvantaged” neighborhoods provide less clinical workers compared with nursing homes in rich areas. This disparity compromises the safety of residents.

Residents in nursing homes have complex medical needs. Research proves that nursing homes with higher levels of staffing have better outcomes. Greater staffing by registered nurses (RNs), in particular, is associated with lower rates of infection and wrongful death.

The researchers’ analysis revealed significant staffing differences by neighborhood for most nursing home workers providing direct care to residents. Staffing was 38% lower for physical and occupational therapists, 30% lower for registered nurses (RNs), and 5% lower for certified nursing assistants in poor neighborhoods.