According to recently published research findings, nursing home staffing patterns and admission trends are some of the most important factors driving residents’ quality-of-life over time. For nursing homes that show declining or mixed results in quality-of-life measures over time, increasing staff activity hours seem to make a significant positive difference. In nursing homes that are already improving on quality-of-life indicators, registered nurse hours per resident has a positive association with quality-of-life. Researchers believe that higher-performing facilities may be more adept at engaging RNs with residents on a personal level and that these facilities may also have a higher number of RN hours to begin, allowing nurses to facilitate activities and engagement on a greater extent. On the other hand, declining facilities were associated with more acute resident populations, suggesting a “decreasing capacity to handle more severe case mix over time.”
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