Friday, June 14, 2013

California Armenian Home and the depression and mental illness of Nursing Home Employees

This Harvard University study explores the high strees and mental illness of nursing home employees.  Their low wages of the lower employees (LVNs and CNAs) who actually do all the work while the higher paid RNs and others don't carry near the load of these lower end wage earners.
Thus this explains the high turnover at Nursing Homes and the California Armenian Home.  80% of the employees have been there under 4 years and this is typical with lower wage nursing home employees. 
There are very few of the 100 California Armenian Home employees that have been there over 10 years, there is about 8% of the employees.  Typically, the employees last 1-2 years and move on.  But it is difficult finding people that are steady and show up for their shifts.
Many drink to self-medicate and openly boast about drinking.  Here are a few of the California Armenian Home employees out at a sleezy bar that has cheap shots and openly boasting about getting wasted.  Well at least it beats stealing the medication of the patients and mixing it with the alcohol.  The working environment and company culture of the California Armenian Home is riddled with politics.  Anyone talented enough will leave and find a job at the VA Hospital and make more money plus Federal Benefits. 

Sassanah (CNA)  Tammy (LVN)  Mary-Ann (LVN) and the famous Lori "gun toting psycho" Quinn (LVN)
Out getting wasted is this to mask their mental illiness or are they celebrating having a job?

According to Harvard School of Public Health researcher Cassandra Okechukwu, the prevalence of depression is common among low-wage nursing home workers -- who also experience higher levels of stress than other workers.
"The high burden of work-family stress and depression in this group has important public health implications for the workers and their families as well as for the quality of care delivered to nursing home residents," said Okechukwu.
452 workers, mostly women, were surveyed to investigate the link between depression and stress at home and work. Participants were asked about stressors such as financial hardships, lack of food and whether they worried about work-related issues during non-work hours. Investigators found that these stressors were double the rate in nursing home workers than other professions.
According to the report, nursing home workers are a growing part of the workforce who may face higher rates of household food insufficiency, financial strain, and work-family spillover. Among nursing assistants-the biggest work group in nursing homes, and among the lowest paid-the proportion of women is estimated to be 80% to 90%; most are single mothers and are thus the primary wage earners for their families. Nursing home workers are more likely to be recent immigrants who may not be aware of or eligible for government benefits. A majority of these low-wage earners are also members of racial/ethnic minority groups.
The implications are serious.
Depression leads to absenteeism and turnover among workers, which in turn translates to poorer care for residents in direct care settings. Because improvement in care quality at nursing homes is an important public health priority, reducing workers' depressive symptoms and their associated effects may have positive results for both workers and nursing home residents.
Food insufficiency is a household-level stressor that has been associated with overweight, behavioral problems, and poor mental health in children and adolescents. This has further implications for obesity in this group because several studies have reported a seemingly paradoxical relation between food insufficiency and obesity whereby those who report food insufficiency also report obesity. My guess, people resort to dollar meals at fast food restaurants, which is typically an unhealthy choice.
Financial strain, food insufficiency, and symptoms of depression were common in our multi-ethnic sample of nursing home workers. For primary wage earners, household food insufficiency was associated with tripled odds of depressive symptoms-the leading cause of disability worldwide.
I have often said that the resident experience starts with the employee experience. And an employee cannot just be viewed in the context of how we know them at work. Progressive organizations take the time to really know their employees. And when they do, they uncover the real issues that are affecting the work environment. They then seek to address them at the very least instilling self-esteem in workers that can carry back to the home.
We talk about being culturally sensitive to long-term care residents. It would seem we first need to do that with employees.



  1. Poor things are going to stay they cannot find a job anywhere else.
    Sassanah may move on but the job market for Pharmacy Technicians are low and the fact her drunk picture was e mailed to members of the Madera/Fresno Pharmaceutical Association it is doubtful she will be hired anytime soon.
    The white mexican has a good chance, Tammy has the last name but the anglo looks and is not a bad LVN from what we understand. Families have reported that she stays out of their business and doesn't eavesdrop on conversations and do unlawful things like take photos inside the hospital and give oranges to diabetic patients. Now Lori Quinn? She is a liability and accident waiting to happen but the California Armenian Home likes employees that show up for their shift. She is a warm body in a position that most people don't want.
    Lori will have many many years to come at the California Armenian Home. Expect there to be many changes in Administration.

  2. Good thing living in the squallers of Sanger is cheap. That low low salary will go farther but the gas in that Expedition is expensive $600.00 a month that is bankrupting poor Lori, she cannot afford to stay and she cannot afford to go.
    STUCK forever and ever, it's true that if you work for a nursing home you never leave unless you have friends that can help you get out. Lori is destined for the next 20 years of nursing homes and dreading that long long drive down that driveway to a thankless and hopeless job that no one wants.


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