You may hear this term as you’re out touring and looking at different facilities. What it really means is how many staff are on duty at a time, and how many residents do those staff members care for? In many smaller homes, the ratio can be 1 staff to 6 residents, or even better at times. The larger the facility, the worse the ratio (typically). Most nursing homes average 1 staff member (CNA) for 12 or more of their patients. When you get to that type of situation, it’s very hard for those employees to really provide good, solid, attentive care to each and every one of their patients. When you are out touring, one of the most important questions that you can ask is what their ratio of staff to residents is. Every facility is different, so don’t think that a higher ratio is a worse facility. It’s all in how they handle the care, and structure the environment. But having more staff on duty is never a bad thing!