Nursing Home Caregivers Speak Up Against Short Staffing Crisis

1199 SEIU Caregivers Fight for Minimum CNA Staffing Ratios

Last week, New Jersey 1199SEIU (Service Employees International Union) caregivers raised a voice on behalf of the nursing home residents they care for in support of Senate Bill S2878.  The bill, voted on last week, would establish minimum resident-staff ratios for certified nursing assistants (CNA’s) in nursing homes.  Currently, there are no minimum staffing ratios in New Jersey, which ultimately affects the care given to our loved ones on a daily basis.

CNA’s are the direct caregivers providing residents with their activities of daily living, including washing, changing, feeding, turning and repositioning, hygiene, etc.  They have one of the most difficult jobs today, providing direct care to those who are unable to care for themselves.  When there are not enough CNA’s on each shift, the caregiving team, including registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, must fill in to make sure residents receive daily essential care.  However, as Miriam Douglas, an LPN from Irvington testified, “[when there is a shortage of CNA’s] [i]t can be hard to balance priorities and ultimately it’s the residents who suffer.”

Further, as the Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU so eloquently stated, “It’s imperative that we take heed of their concerns and listen to their stories about how insufficient staffing is impacting the well-being of nursing home residents.  This staffing bill is essential to improving the quality of life for our loved ones in nursing homes.”

Legislation on Senate Bill S2878 was heard last week and the Assembly hearing is scheduled for today.  For the quality of life and care of our loved ones, let your legislators know of your support for the bill.  And if you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected at the hands of short-staffing, please call our office today.

For more information on the testimony and hearings, click on the following link: