Long term patients need more care

By Tina Siegel

Tionesta

I am an LPN who has worked in long-term care for almost 36 years. I got into nursing because I want to be able to help someone in their time of need and offer the support they require.

Unfortunately that is very difficult to do at this time.

Right now, the state Department of Health requires long term care facilities provide just 2.7 hours of care per person per day. That hasn't changed in over 30 years. The residents we are getting now require more care as they tend to be sicker. We have more IVs and more wound care than we did when I started.

We have people who have been in accidents and require two to four people to turn them to help reduce pain or further injury.

We have been asking for a long time to have the hours of care increased because we know better staffing equals better care and lower infection rates.

The 12,000 nursing home residents we've lost from COVID are a tragic reminder that our nursing homes must be improved.

I feel enough is enough. The Department of Health must increase state regulations to provide 4.1 hours of care per person per day -- that's the amount numerous studies agree is needed.

Please call your local elected official and ask them to put pressure on the governor and the Department of Health to increase that number now.