Are nursing homes adequately staffed? The silent epidemic of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing home residents. Until mandatory staffing standards are created and enforced, residents are at risk

J Gerontol Nurs. 2007 Jul;33(7):15-8. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20070701-03.


Providing care to produce positive resident outcomes is an ethical duty of nursing home staff. Research has shown that inadequate staffing levels present an increased health risk to nursing home residents. Nursing home residents may experience dehydration and malnutrition caused by inadequate staffing. Continued research in the area of nutrition and dehydration in nursing home residents may positively influence changes in staffing levels at nursing homes. Currently, residents living in understaffed nursing homes and not receiving proper care are the victims. It is time for nurses to forcefully lobby for national mandatory nurse staffing standards.

MeSH terms

  • Dehydration / epidemiology*
  • Dehydration / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Inservice Training
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology*
  • Malnutrition / prevention & control
  • Nursing Homes* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / standards*
  • Risk Factors
  • Workforce