The ongoing debate on increasing the federal minimum wage could have unexpected, but welcome, consequences, like the enhancement of care available at the nation’s nursing homes. That could, in turn, mean fewer cases of abuse and neglect of residents at these facilities.
At many nursing homes in Georgia, poor care and even abuse of residents is often linked to understaffing and high rates of staff turnover. Many nursing homes see high staff attrition rates, and in most cases, staff members choose to move jobs when there is a higher pay scale promised. These high staff turnover rates are part of the reason for the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on these nursing homes.
When the pandemic raged across Georgia, residents in nursing homes were some of the earliest victims. Higher rates of staff turnover meant that many of these nursing homes were understaffed. Fewer staff members meant lower adherence to social distancing protocols of the type that would have helped prevent nursing home residents from infecting each other. Fewer number of staff members also discouraged stronger adherence to the kind of sanitation protocols that would have prevented the spread of infections via contaminated surfaces and objects.