Direct care staff members (nurse aides, certified nursing assistants, and nurses) are the most important employees in long-term care homes (such as assisted living residences and nursing homes). They provide 80-90% of the hands-on care to vulnerable and frail residents. They and the residents' close family members often know the residents and their care needs more than other employee in the care organization. They also have invaluable knowledge when it comes to understanding and prevention of various forms of maltreatment such as abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, avoidable falls and accidents, resident-to-resident incidents, inappropriate and excessive use of antipsychotic medications. Strikingly, however, despite being the backbone of the long-term care industry, the voice of these dedicated, compassionate but often understaffed and overworked direct care employees is often absent in important state-level initiatives aimed at improving understanding and prevention of these human rights violations.
Minnesota is currently in the midst of a crisis in long-term care homes; particularly in assisted living residences and care homes dedicated to people with dementia operated within them (often called "memory care units"; a biomedical term that we need to avoid using as we care for human beings, not memories).
CHECK OUT THE BLOG by Eilon Caspi, B.S.W. M.A. Ph.D. | EVFA Member