Nursing Home residents require around the clock care and focused one on one attention from skilled nurses and certified nurse assistants. Many nursing homes, however, have severe understaffing problems. These problems are largely the result of nursing home owners putting profits ahead of quality care. Why is a shortage of staff so important? Being short-staffed seriously impacts the quality of care that residents receive. Understaffing is one of the major contributing factors to nursing home abuse and neglect. And it can lead to the spread of infections like COVID-19 among vulnerable residents in nursing homes. Already, at least 400 nursing homes around the country have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that number will likely increase in the days and weeks ahead.
Unfortunately, the problem of understaffing is not likely to go away any time soon. With 25% to 30% of nurses in Illinois set to retire in the next five years, the state expects a shortage of 21,000 nurses by 2021. By contrast, nursing homes expect to see significant growth in population. The number of Illinois residents age 85 and older is projected to grow by over 50 percent by 2030. This will worsen an already serious problem.
How Prevalent is Under Staffing?