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Nursing home staff hopeful as lawmakers consider bills to increase funding

Posted at 4:41 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 20:56:14-04

SAPULPA, Okla. — At Arbor Village, some employees work up to two weeks straight. They're filling the gap as many are leaving the field.

For those living in nursing home, they said this kind of care can make or break their health. Patricia Russell said after arriving at Arbor Village, she was waiting to die.

As nurses got Russell up to play games and eat she began to improve. Yet not all patients are so lucky.

Staff tell 2 Works for You they do what they can to help those living at Arbor Village feel at home. But at least weekly they receive a call and have to turn people away.

"We're at our max capacity. We could actually hold more residents in our facility, but I don't have the staffing to meet their needs. If I can't meet their needs, I won't admit them," director Ernest Johnson said.

Johnson lost many employees to other fields like retail where they could make more money. He said this comes as the state struggles to keep up with cost of living.

"They have good staff. We need more of them and we need more of them so they're not overworked and tired but willing to help us," Russell said.

But House Bill 1902 and Senate Bill 280 passed their respective chambers. If signed into law, they would increase funding for nursing facilities by just over 20 dollars a day. Many nursing home employees said they're feeling optimistic.

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