The Unsung Champions: Clinical Teams’ Role in Optimizing Nursing Home Care

In the realm of nursing homes, there’s a topic that’s been gaining momentum, and it’s time we all tuned in. A recent study has highlighted some challenges, but also the incredible difference that dedicated clinical teams are making. Let’s dive in!

This comprehensive research, which sifted through 27 studies, brought to light a pressing concern: a significant number of nursing home residents face functional challenges from the outset. More notably, between 39% to 51% experience a decline in their functional abilities within a year. It’s a wake-up call, but not one without hope.

Enter Dr. Pau Moreno Martin from the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia in Spain. He observes, “These numbers, while concerning, give us a clearer picture. Many of our long-term residents, particularly those with added challenges, need a bit more support.”

But here’s the uplifting part: the study doesn’t just highlight the challenges; it points to solutions. Factors like cognitive challenges, baseline functional status, age, and even marital status play a role in this decline. The good news? Some issues, like depression and urinary incontinence, are addressable with the right care.

Clinical Teams: Making the Difference

The standout heroes from this study? The dedicated clinical teams. Homes that prioritize licensed nursing hours and have the expertise of a geriatrician are making significant strides in combating functional decline.

With a sense of purpose, Moreno Martin and his team emphasize, “In line with the World Health Organization’s goals for nursing home care, our focus should be on enhancing the well-being and functional capacity of our residents.”

They further advocate, “To ensure the best outcomes, we need to invest in our clinical teams. This means competitive compensation, a supportive work environment, and opportunities for growth and development.”

For those interested in the finer details, the complete findings are available in JAMDA. It’s a testament to the dedication and impact of our clinical teams, the true heartbeat of our nursing homes.

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