New Nursing Home Legislation to Help Caregivers
Shannon Savick, Minnesota’s House majority leader, said on July 11 that she is quite proud of the nursing home legislation that as passed in the last session because it is designed to help nursing home workers and the seniors that they care for.
For the first time in years, nursing home providers will be able to see an increase of 5 percent. Of the 5 percent, 3.75 percent goes toward employee compensation, which means raises, and the remainder goes toward quality assessment. On October 1, 2015, providers will see an additional 3.2 percent.
This is good news for staff and seniors, as it is important that staff members are committed to their jobs. There are times when staff members go years without seeing a raise because budgets don’t allow for it. If a facility can’t afford the raises on their own, it is much harder to keep employees. This means that there are additional costs from having to hire new employees and the seniors miss out on a degree of consistency when the staff keeps changing.
Employees are also more disgruntled when they do not receive the pay that they feel they deserve. Their own financial stressors can interfere with their job performance.
Nursing Home Legislation Designed to Improve Quality of Care
The legislation was presented in regards to how seniors deserve the best care that can be provided. The increases will make sure that providers can retain high quality works and avoid the fast turnover that has become so common. Fast turnovers result in nursing homes to become short staffed and this means the existing staff becomes overworked. This increases the chances of medication errors, wandering and elopement, and unintentional neglect of a resident.
Also approved was no-excuse absentee voting, which makes it easier for seniors to vote on Election Day. Seniors are given greater access to the polls. The laws that deal with scammers that try to take advantage of seniors were also strengthened.
The reason why the laws surrounding scams that seniors fall victim to were strengthened was because seniors are the ones that lose approximately $30 million annually to scams.
The new law will require more scrutiny to be used when background checks are performed for guardians of senior citizens and allows family members to use their existing sick leave to care for their elderly parent. Previously, the law only allowed workers to use their sick leave when they needing to care for a child.