New Brunswick Tribune

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hundreds of nursing home beds in NB are vacant due to a lack of staff

A lack of staff is leaving hundreds of nursing home beds unoccupied in NB.

Key Takeaways:

  • The chronic staffing shortages in the sector are to blame, as per the president of the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions, for an alarming number of vacant beds in 49 of the 51 nursing facilities the council represents.

According to the president of the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions, the industry’s severe staffing shortages are to blame for an alarming number of unoccupied beds in 49 of the 51 nursing facilities the council represents.

According to Sharon Teare, president of CUPE Local 1190, there are 295 open beds in the nursing homes where her organization’s employees are employed.

In hospitals, 382 people are awaiting beds in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. She claimed that the industry, like the province’s hospitals and healthcare facilities, is experiencing a staffing deficit.

In a Monday interview, Teare added, “That figure was disturbing.” She stated that further research is necessary to ascertain the cause of the high number, but that “we would look at the 80 % were a result of staff shortages.”

According to her, some nursing homes might have up to 19 residents per personal care staff. Teare is concerned about the quality of care residents receive in light of the limited resources.

“We have to do something,” she continued, “and it’s OK.” It is now time. Governments must move swiftly as a group to determine the cause and implement the necessary incentives.

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Teare claimed that nursing facilities’ poor working conditions result in gaps in residents’ care.

“No time off. Because they have existed for a while, such kinds of working circumstances are somewhat preventable. “I believe that’s the irritating part of this, and tragically, we hear about overuse of sedatives and psychiatric drugs due to personnel shortages. Not OK at all.

The numbers are alarming, according to Cecile Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights, notably the proportion of people who call hospitals their homes.

In a Monday interview, she added, “Some families are sharing with me that their loved ones are having to stay in their rooms all day or in their bedclothes, so this is disturbing.”

Around 700 people, mostly hospital patients, are reportedly waiting for nursing home beds, according to Cassista.

She claimed to have expressed her concerns in writing to the new minister of social development.

But, she added, “I also told the premier.” “We should do everything possible to allow seniors to live in an environment of their choice. Seniors shouldn’t be making their homes in the hospital setting.”

The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes, specific nursing homes, and other stakeholder groups are being consulted on staffing difficulties, according to the Department of Social Development, which is “working on several programs relating to recruiting and retention.”

A lack of staff is leaving hundreds of nursing home beds unoccupied in NB.
A lack of staff is leaving hundreds of nursing home beds unoccupied in NB. Image from Canada Today

According to the email statement, a new long-term care plan was created to specify how to offer the assistance and resources required to keep elders living as independently as feasible. It will provide a more comprehensive strategy within a solid continuum of care that might offer elders long-term, sustainable, high-quality services.

Of the more than 4,953 total beds in the province as of the end of July, 275 were reported to be unoccupied.

The message in the email read, “The majority of vacancies are due to staffing shortages, but other contributing factors include temporary bed closures due to outbreaks as well as nobody on the waitlist for some places.”

According to the agency, vacancies may also result from the services provided, problems with the physical environment, or the infrastructure of the building itself.

Despite this, Teare promises to continue speaking out about the staffing problems that leave valuable beds empty.

It’s accidental neglect, she explained. The elderly need this. I will not stay quiet on this issue. The issue won’t go unattended.

Source: Global News

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