Benefits of a Low Caregiver-to-Patient Ratio for Ventilator Patients

5 Facts About Being a Ventilator-Dependent Patient
April 11, 2019

Today’s healthcare system is ever-changing.

We’ve reached a point where people are healthier and living longer than ever before. With today’s technology, we have more solutions to save lives and keep people alive. That also means we need more alternatives to helping people throughout the recovery process and gaining access to the right level of caregiving.

Unfortunately, not all caregiving facilities are created equal.

If you or a loved one has ever faced a health crisis, you know it’s ideal to have a low caregiver-to-patient ratio whenever possible. But studies show this isn’t happening.

The New York Times has reported on how staffing fluctuates at nursing homes across America. Even if a facility is fully staffed, they must deal with absences due to sick and vacation leave. And on the worst staffed days, caregivers were responsible for as many as double the number of patients than on a fully staffed day. Added with high turnover and low staffing, it’s easy to see why a loved one can be receiving less than stellar care.

Also, Medicare doesn’t regulate how many caregivers must be present in a facility. The only requirement they have is that a registered nurse must be on-site for at least 8 hours during the day, and a licensed nurse must be on hand 24/7. It makes you think twice about the facility you’re considering for your loved one.

Large facilities may tout the benefits of having lots of staff to meet your needs. But is that really a benefit once your loved one is living there?

Maybe it’s time to consider a facility with a low caregiver-to-patient ratio instead. Especially if your loved one needs ventilator treatments as well.

Benefits of a Low Caregiver-to-Patient Ratio for Ventilator Patients

Your Loved One Receives Better Care

According to a report in the Pulmonology Journal, long-term ventilator-dependent patients are on the rise. As our life-saving medical therapies improve, the number of people requiring long-term ventilation continues to rise as well. For those patients who require ventilation in the ICU, they have up to 50 percent higher costs than those who don’t. Because it’s more difficult to release those patients, they wind up staying on-site longer, which continues to strain the system. And add costs for the family.

But cost is only part of the picture. As these patients are released, they have fewer options for long-term care. And in many cases, your loved one ends up in a facility where personalized care simply isn’t an option. As the number of patients a caregiver oversees increases, so does the chance for errors.

Here at Better Options, we pride ourselves on being a small facility with a low caregiver-to-patient ratio. We only take in 12 residents at a time and have a 1:3 caregiver-to-patient ratio to offer personalized care to every resident we have. That means our caregivers get to know each patient, treat each resident with respect, and give them the personalized attention they deserve.

Lower caregiver ratios mean your loved one has the attention of the caregiver without the interruption you normally find in a busy facility.

With larger facilities, your loved one may have a difficult time getting to know the staff. They might see a caregiver once, and then not have them in the rotation again for days, or even weeks. That gives the facility a more clinical feel, where strong relationships are hard to create. Not so with our facility. We spend time with each person and give them the attention they need and deserve. We know it takes a team to ensure your loved one gets everything they need, and we’re happy to be part of that team.

Your Loved One Feels Safer and More Comfortable with Caregivers

In a larger facility, staffing turnover can impact your loved one in many ways:

  • It can lead to medication errors.
  • It can lead to an increase in hospital readmissions.
  • It can increase the possibility of falling.
  • It can increase the chance of long-term infections.

When caregivers are overworked or have too many people to care for, they become easily distracted and fatigued. A stressed worker means they are more prone to making mistakes, and that can lead to stressful situations for you and your loved one.

How can you feel safe if you feel like nothing more than a number?

Luckily, in a smaller facility, those stressors aren’t as prominent. With more time to devote to each patient, the caregivers can develop a personal relationship with each one and understand in more detail what your loved one needs. That also means they can detect when something isn’t right a lot sooner, fixing issues early and reducing the chance your loved one will wind up back in the hospital.

That means the quality of life is better. It means your loved one feels safer and more comfortable with the process. And you have a higher level of peace of mind.

Your Loved One Gains a More Personalized Approach to Whole-Body Care

This isn’t just about a medical condition. This is also about having the best life possible. We treat each person individually and provide the best experience possible for you and your family.

We celebrate birthdays. We make holidays an event. We welcome families in and encourage them to bond with our caregivers too.

Every day should be about creating the best experience possible. And if you have worries, that’s more difficult to do.

As a team, we can develop a plan that includes you, your loved one, and your loved one’s caregivers. When everyone is on the same page, it gives you a chance to relax and enjoy a friendly conversation or laugh with your loved one, rather than fighting the system just to get simple things done.

You’ll Be More at Peace Knowing the Care You Expect Doesn’t Fall Through the Cracks

Have you ever expected one level of care, only to find out your expectations weren’t met on any level? You’re not the only one. We hear that all the time from people coming from other facilities.

When caregivers have too much on their plates, they put the most critical items at the top of their lists. If it’s not an emergency, it falls between the cracks and doesn’t get done. It’s not that they deliberately ignore a patient or don’t want to follow through on promises made. It’s that they simply don’t have the time. And most of that is because they don’t have a low caregiver-to-patient ratio.

When you have fewer people to care for, you can spend more time with every patient. You can spend the extra few minutes to listen, instead of worrying about getting everything in before the end of the shift.

That means a better life for your loved one. More peace of mind for you. And a better approach to living.

Are you ready to experience the personalized care of a small facility that serves ventilator patients with a low caregiver-to-patient ratio? Contact us today.

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