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What are average nursing home response times?

You're with your loved one in a nursing home when they decide to press the call button. Maybe it's an emergency and they're having trouble breathing. Maybe they just have a question and need to talk to a staff member.

Either way, you notice that it takes a long time for someone to actually arrive at the room. While you know that workers have a lot to do -- they don't just sit in the office waiting for someone to press the button -- you're not sure how fast they should show up. Is it neglectful if they take too long? What is the average response time in the industry?

One report claimed that the average response time sits right around eight minutes. That can feel like an eternity if there is an emergency, but it is not that long at all in other situations. It does show that you should not expect someone to show up right away.

That said, when you look at the sites in the top 10 percent for response times, they average right around two minutes. That's far faster and means that your loved one gets very prompt care.

It also means that there are plenty of nursing homes with averages well below eight minutes, dragging the overall average down. If your loved one has to sit around for a half an hour waiting for someone to show up, is that really safe? Does the home have issues with inadequate staffing or neglectful staff members? If your loved one suffers as a result, it may be time to look into your legal options.

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