How Does Language Impact Nursing Home Care and Injuries?

Does the language spoken by a caregiver at a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Riverside County have an effect on the quality of care a resident receives? Do nursing homes and assisted-living facilities need to have caregivers on staff who speak the same language as the residents and who are familiar with the linguistic and cultural contexts from which residents have come to the nursing home or assisted-living facility? A recent report from McKnights Senior Living discusses initiatives to overcome language barriers for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in California and in several other states across the country. Our Riverside County nursing home negligence lawyers can tell you more.

Language Barriers for Caregivers and Residents in Southern California Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

According to the article, there are currently significant language barriers impacting the ability of potential nursing home and assisted living facility employees to become CNAs due to language barriers. Indeed, “foreign-born workers account for 27% of the nation’s direct care workforce, but many states maintain strict, English-only testing and training requirements that can prevent some immigrants from entering the workforce.” Given that there is a significant need for more long-term care workers, efforts are underway in California and other states to make it possible for workers to pass CNA certification exams in foreign languages. In California, AB 2131 aims to allow workers to take the written and oral competency portions of the CNA exam in Spanish. 

Even if English is not a first language for a CNA at a California nursing home or assisted living facility, Spanish speakers, in particular, may be in high demand due to the high percentage of Spanish speakers in the state, more broadly — including among residents of skilled nursing facilities. Recent data suggests that nearly 30 percent of California residents are Spanish speakers as of the 2020 census.

Increase in Staff Members Can Help to Prevent Injuries Caused by Negligence

A key point from the report is that more CNAs means a higher quality of care in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in California. A wide range of injuries at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities currently result from staffing shortages and passive neglect — situations where residents are not receiving the level or quality of care they require because there are simply not enough staff members. 

According to McKnights Senior Living, “investing in language access is strategically necessary for states struggling to recruit and retain direct care workers, as well as meeting the needs of individuals and communities needing linguistically diverse care.” In short, attracting a wider range of long-term care workers, including those from varying language and cultural backgrounds, could help to make nursing homes and assisted-living facilities safer places for residents where injuries resulting from negligence are less likely to occur.  

Contact a Riverside County Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Today

If you have questions or need help with a nursing home negligence claim, you should get in touch with one of the experienced Riverside County nursing home negligence lawyers at our firm. Contact the Walton Law Firm today for more information about how we can help you with a case involving an elderly loved one in Southern California.


See Related Blog Posts:

Mitigating Nursing Home Abuse Through “COACHing?”

Emotional Abuse and Social Media in San Bernardino County Nursing Homes

Contact Information