Enhancing quality of care in long-term care facilities

Article information

J Korean Gerontol Nurs. 2024;26(2):125-126
Publication date (electronic) : 2024 May 31
doi : https://doi.org/10.17079/jkgn.2024.00472
Professor, College of Nursing, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding author: Dukyoo Jung College of Nursing, Ewha Womans University, 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, Korea TEL: +82-3277-6693 E-mail: dyjung@ewha.ac.kr
Received 2024 May 22; Revised 2024 May 25; Accepted 2024 May 29.

In July 2008, South Korea implemented a long-term care insurance system to support older adults, or individuals suffering from geriatric diseases who require assistance with their daily activities [1]. This system was aimed at promoting the health and stability of older adults, alleviating the burden on their families, and consequently enhancing the quality of life of the entire population. With South Korea soon to become a super-aged society by 2025, a rapid increase has been noted in the number of long-term care facilities. According to the Korean Statistical Information Service [2], the number of long-term care facilities has grown from 2,429 in 2010 to 4,346 in 2022, indicating a four-fold increase. The capacity of these facilities has also increased from 107,506 residents in 2010 to 216,784 in 2022.

Considering the advent of a super-aged society and the corresponding increase in long-term care facilities, it is imperative to focus on improving the quality of life of residents in these facilities. Unfortunately, nurses are not mandated to be employed in long-term care facilities under the current policy in South Korea. This regulatory gap makes it challenging to address the medical issues of the residents of these facilities adequately and provide quality care through proper supervision of caregiving staff. Therefore, employing appropriate nursing personnel is essential in ensuring quality care in long-term care facilities. The need for nursing staff in these facilities must be emphasized considering the most critical aspects at stake.

Previous research has shown the need for and the effectiveness of person-centered care in long-term care facilities to maintain residents’ quality of life [3]. Additionally, the need for providing essential services such as function-focused care for older adults to maintain their functional independence in daily life has been emphasized [4]. Further, direct care providers need constant motivation, work ethic, and supervision so that they can enhance residents’ quality of life. Therefore, nurses play a crucial role in ensuring the provision of quality care on the ground.

Further, employing nurses in long-term care facilities is essential for disease management of residents in these facilities. According to a previous study, older adult population taking five or more prescribed medications was just around 4.3%. In contrast, the percentage of residents in long-term care facilities taking five or more medications was significantly higher, ranging from 70% to 73.6% [5]. Moreover, in long-term care facilities, nurse assistants and direct care providers are the ones mostly involved in medication management, which can pose risks of adverse drug reactions, duplication of medications, misuse, and problems with medication storage. Therefore, employing nurses in long-term care facilities is necessary to ensure not only proper medication management but also effective disease and emergency management.

This is where the role of the Journal of Korean Gerontological Nursing (JKGN) comes into play. We need to provide adequate evidence to support the appropriate placement of nursing personnel in long-term care facilities. Additionally, evidence must be built through ongoing publication of studies on the effectiveness of various nursing interventions that can improve the quality of life of residents in long-term care facilities.


Authors' contribution

All work was done by DJ.

Conflict of interest

Dukyoo Jung has been editorial board member of the Journal of Korean Gerontological Nursing since January 2021. She was not involved in the review process of this editorial. Otherwise, there was no conflict of interest.



Data availability

Please contact the corresponding author for data availability.




1. National Healthcare Insurance Service. Long-term care insurance [Internet]. National Health Insurance Service; 2024 [cited 2024 May 16]. Available from: https://www.longtermcare.or.kr/npbs/e/b/101/npeb101m01.web?menuId=npe0000000030&zoomSize=.
2. Korean Statistical Information Service. The status of older adults care facilities [Internet]. Statistics Korea; 2023 [cited 2024 May 16]. Available from: https://kosis.kr/statHtml/statHtml.do?orgId=117&tblId=DT_117N_B00003&vw_cd=MT_ZTITLE&list_id=&scrId=&seqNo=&lang_mode=ko&obj_var_id=&itm_id=&conn_path=E1&docId=0215432868&markType=S&itmNm=%EC%A0%84%EA%B5%AD.
3. Brownie S, Nancarrow S. Effects of person-centered care on residents and staff in aged-care facilities: a systematic review. Clinical Interventions in Aging 2013;8:1–10. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S38589.
4. Resnick B, Galik E, Boltz M. Function focused care approaches: literature review of progress and future possibilities. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2013;14(5):313–18. ttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2012.10.019.
5. Kim JS, Kang S. Status of polypharmacy and inappropriate medication use of the elderly in nursing homes. The Korean Journal of Health Service Management 2013;7(3):237–49. https://doi.org/10.12811/kshsm.2013.7.3.237.

Article information Continued