Legislators were focused on improving oversight and care in nursing homes and of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients Thursday as a string of health care bills got approval in committees this past week.
One of those bills would establish new nursing aide-to-patient ratios in efforts to improve the quality of care for older Americans living in New Jersey nursing homes, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
New guidelines outlined in the bill would require there be one certified nursing aide for every eight residents on the day shift, one aide for every 10 residents on the evening shift and one aide for every 16 residents on the night shift. Homes could employ more aides above those minimum thresholds.
“Countless studies have shown that higher staffing levels result in higher quality of care in nursing homes,” bill sponsor Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Bergen, said in a statement. “This leads to lower mortality rates, improved functioning, less infections, lower hospitalization rates and an overall improvement in quality of life.”
State Department of Health regulations currently require nursing homes to meet a minimum number of hours of direct care to residents per day.
A second bill approved Thursday would improve oversight of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease patients by requiring hospitals to note on patients’ medical records whether they suffer from a dementia-related disorder and are at increased risk of confusion, agitation, behavioral problems and wandering, sponsors said.
The notation may be added to patients’ medical records when they are admitted to the hospital or emergency department, or when a patient is examined by a health care professional.
Read the full story at The Press of Atlantic City.