Nurse assistants have been at the center of an escalating trend of calls for prayer at nursing homes over the past several years.
As of the beginning of the year, nursing homes reported 1.8 million calls for prayers for their staff, up from 1.3 million in the same period a year earlier, according to data from the American Association of University Health Systems.
Meanwhile, the number of nursing home visitors increased by nearly 60 percent between January and March from the previous year, according the Association of Community Health Centers, a nonprofit advocacy group.
The AP-NORC poll found that a majority of American adults have a negative opinion of the practice.
Seventy-two percent of respondents said prayer was disrespectful or inappropriate.
As for the practice of praying in nursing homes, the AP-ORC poll also found that the majority of Americans (58 percent) would not allow a nurse assistant to pray at home.
And the AP report noted that while prayer is now part of the nursing home prayer service, the practice has not received a great deal of attention.
“Many nurses and care providers believe that prayer at home is appropriate,” the AP wrote.
“But while some people believe prayer is appropriate for people who pray in their homes, others are not.”