Nursing homes have had a fair amount of bad press this year, but with the number of people aged 65 and over set to double by 2030, the cost of running a nursing home isn't going to get any better. Let's look at the 2 key factors...
The average cost in England for a nursing home is £459 per person, per week, according to a market survey, which aimed to identify the reasonable costs that a typical care home operator may expect to incur. Any measures to keep costs down would be welcomed with open arms.
Staffing costs typically absorb 45-60% of nursing home fees which include care staff, catering, cleaning and laundry staff, management, administration and reception staff. Other costs such as utilities, provisions, registration fees and grounds maintenance typically absorb 12-16%, whilst Capital costs, including the investor's and operator's return, account for the rest.
The level of cleaning and laundry staff can be easily reduced, or kept from expanding, by introducing a laundry chute to the building. The requirement for staff to manually transport bed linen and other laundry around the nursing home is completely taken away.
A laundry chute is an investment for any nursing home as it reduces staffing requirements to transport laundry, and thus reduces overall spendature over time.
In 2012, more than 1.4 million people 65 and older lived in nursing homes, and if current rates continue, this number is set to rise to 3 million by 2030. Nursing homes are going to need to grow, staffing is going to increase, and the risk of danger attached is going to worsen as a result.
The health care industry already one of the most dangerous industries to work in, ranking alongside construction, trucking, and meatpacking in non-fatal injury rates. Nursing home residents fall frequently, and around 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries, a figure that could be dramatically reduced by improving their safety.
Each year, a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls, and patients often fall more than once, too: The average is 2.6 falls per person per year.
But although the majority of injuries in nursing homes are patient related, many injuries are also staff related. Nursing home employees working in direct-care facilities perform many physically taxing activities, which commonly involve lifting heavy loads and working in awkward postures during patient care. The total number of nursing hours per resident are shown to be significantly associated with worker injury rates in nursing homes, which suggests that nursing home staffing levels have an impact on worker health.
The simple act of reducing the opportunity for falls, twists or awkward lifts could dramatically improve the safety for care workers and patients. The installation of a laundry chute for both large and small nursing homes reduces the need for staff to transport heavy laundry loads around the building. A safer and more cost effective alternative than increasing the level of cleaning staff and reduces the risk of injury that comes with the simple action of more people travelling up and down stairs.