If you or someone you know has a loved one in a nursing home, there are three important steps you should take to make sure they are protected from staffing cuts.
Step 1: Ask Questions
As a first step, download and print our Quality Care Toolkit and bring it with you to the nursing home where your loved one resides so that you can ask the following questions to the nursing home administrator:
1) Are you keeping safe staffing levels of at least 2.9 hours of bedside care by certified nursing assistants (CNA’s), or are you cutting staffing to the new minimum level of at least 2.5 hours set by the state? What is the current CNA staffing level?
Florida nursing homes have a moral choice and obligation to keep staffing at a higher level than the state MINIMUM, which is now below what independent experts recommend.
2) Have there been any resident falls, injuries or delays in providing care as a result of cuts to safe staffing?
Staffing cuts make it more difficult for caregivers to respond to falls and injuries and can create delays in turning residents to prevent bedsores, cleaning, toileting and blood pressure checks.
3) How many residents is each licensed practical nurse (LPN) assigned, and what are you doing to make sure that number is as low as possible?
Forty residents are the most that one LPN can be assigned at a time.
4) How many residents is each certified nursing assistant (CNA) assigned, and what are you doing to make sure that number is as low as possible? Does this meet the state minimum level of 2.5 CNA hours of care per resident per day?
Twenty residents are the most that one CNA can be assigned at a time.
Step 2: Call for Help
If you have reason to believe that the health and safety of your loved one has been put in jeopardy, or they are not receiving the care they need, please contact one of the following resources to file a complaint:
Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)
AHCA is the state agency tasked with overseeing health care facilities.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman is a state and federally recognized advocate who independently oversees nursing homes and other long-term care settings.
Phone: (888) 831-0404
Step 3: Contact Your Elected Officials
Your state senator and state representative can help you move your complaint forward with AHCA and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
It is also critical that you urge your state legislators to restore safe staffing levels in nursing homes to a minimum weekly average of 2.9 hours of bedside care per resident per day by CNA’s.
Tell them Every Minute Counts, and explain what a minute means to you and your loved ones.
Call the number below and ask for your legislators’ contact info, or visit these websites to find your legislator:
Phone: (850) 717-5650
Florida Senate: FLSenate.gov
Florida House of Representatives: MyFloridaHouse.gov