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Nonprofit Nursing Home Staff Members Happier Than For Profit Counterparts

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility is often a gut-wrenching process. Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers are familiar with the balancing act faced by families in this situation. On one hand, everyone hopes that their loved one will be able to live out their golden years with as a high a quality of life as possible. Usually that means aging in place, in their own home, while still maintaining their physical and mental attributes. However, for many seniors that is simply not an option. Having around-the-clock assistance is often necessary to ensure that medical care is available at a moment’s notice and to guarantee that the senior will have assistance with basic tasks like eating, dressing, and bathing.

It is at those times when families usually realize that perhaps an assisted-living facility is a better living option for their relative, all things considered. Yet, the decision to enter the facility is usually just the first step, because then the family must figure out what exact home is best. As our Illinois nursing home attorneys have often explained on this blog, there are many resources that are available to help compare nursing home quality. The Centers for Medicare and Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website is one of the most well-known of those resources. The database can provide crucial information on what facilities have the highest rates of nursing home abuse and neglect among many other variables.

While close research, questioning, and visits are important in the selection process, as a general matter there is one rule of thumb that might be a helpful starting point: Nonprofit facilities are generally superior to for-profit homes. Study after study has found this to be true. Researchers point to a range of reasons for it. This week the New Old Age Blog suggested yet another facet of the situation. It was explained that staff members at nonprofit facilities are generally much happier than their counterparts at for-profit homes, an important reason why resident care was ultimately superior. This was found to be the case after a survey of nurses at 300 different skilled nursing facilities.

According to the researchers the higher happiness levels can be attributed to a few different factors. Those include:

1) The ability of nonprofit employees to play an active role in policymaking at the facility
2) More supportive managers and nonprofit homes
3) Increased feeling of having adequate resources to help residents properly. This is essentially a component of one of the main differences between nonprofit and for-profit homes: staff levels. Nonprofit homes are much more likely to have adequate levels of nurses and nursing assistants, meaning that each caregiver is not burdened by an unmanageable workload.

Overall, those involved in the study found that the increased happiness levels among nurses, aides, and others resulted in lower turnover levels. It is not difficult to see how less turnover among nursing home caregivers can translate into less instances of nursing home neglect and better overall care. Long-serving nurses are able to understand the needs of each resident and address them in a timely and efficient manner.

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