Understaffing in nursing homes leads to nursing home neglect due to the inability of the employees to adequately monitor the residents and ensure that their needs receive attention or they are appropriately monitored. In fact, when a nursing home’s staff is overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid, the caregivers may be more likely to abuse and neglect the elderly residents, according to Health Service Insights.
If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered from any physical or emotional abuse due to understaffing in a nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine what your legal options may be to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Reasons for Nursing Home Understaffing
In some cases, the nursing home staff knows fully well that their staffing situation is lacking. However, the management or ownership may not want to spend additional money to hire more employees. In other situations, the nursing home may struggle to find and retain quality employees that are adequately trained to provide the required care to residents.
Some nursing homes have extremely high turnover rates in their staff, making it challenging to create continuity within their nursing home community and have a consistent pool of employees that are fully trained to provide adequate care for their residents.
State Nursing Home Staffing Requirements
No matter the reason for the understaffing, nursing home understaffing is actually illegal under the law. According to a Justice Department document containing data compiled by the University of California San Francisco, the state of Illinois requires that every nursing home follow specific guidelines regarding their staffing in accordance with the facility’s size and type.
If the nursing home fails to follow state guidelines and falls below their staffing requirements, they will receive fines and remain liable for any abuse or negligence discovered at their facility.
If a nursing home is guilty of “rationing,” the practice of keeping staffing levels so low that a caregiver may only perform the basic functions of their job, instances of nursing home abuse and neglect rise and residents suffer.
If you believe your elderly loved one suffered from any kind of physical or emotional abuse or neglect due to the understaffing in their nursing home facility, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you with your next steps and to find out how a Forest View understaffing lawyer can help.
For a free legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving Forest View, call (800) 794-0444
Understaffing and Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
There is a very real connection between understaffing and nursing home neglect and abuse. When nursing home staff employees remain overworked and understaffed, mistakes occur which can contribute to neglect. Frustrated staff members may choose to turn to abusing the elders in their care to vent their anger.
Nursing Home Neglect
In some cases, due to understaffing, nursing home employees are simply too exhausted and are unable to give the proper care and attention necessary to every resident. Some examples of elder neglect in nursing homes due to understaffing can include the following:
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Failure to give correct medications or in the correct dosages
- Development of bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, in residents due to failure to reposition in a timely manner
- Failure to change diapers or assist residents in going to the bathroom
- Failure to change clothing or bedding
- Failure to help residents with basic hygiene
- Failure to document the patient’s health or any event that occurs to save time
- Placing residents in adult diapers instead of taking them to the restroom due to time constraints
- Failure to help residents in and out of bed or wheelchairs, leading residents to do it for themselves, thus causing them slip and fall and be injured
Ultimately, nursing home employees feel pressured and stressed to rush through their duties when they are understaffed, leaving nursing home residents without proper care.
Nursing Home Abuse
In other instances, nursing home employees that remain in understaffed nursing homes could lash out in frustration at the elderly residents of the nursing home. Many elderly residents have cognitive dysfunction and do not understand directions or respond to requests appropriately.
If a nursing home staff member remains overworked, they may physically abuse the elderly resident to get them to do what they want or verbally harass, humiliate, or abuse them in other ways simply out of frustration. Whether or not a nursing home facility suffers from understaffing, no elderly resident should ever experience any type of physical or emotional neglect or abuse.
Some of the ways that “rationing” or understaffing results in nursing home physical and emotional abuse could include:
- Drugging or overmedicating a resident in order to ensure compliance and reduce the need for their supervision
- Hitting, slapping, pinching, pushing or striking a resident in any way to obtain compliance
- Yelling or screaming at residents to obtain compliance
- Degrading or humiliating residents in private or in public
- Physically restraining residents in order to ensure they do not move
- Threatening physical or sexual abuse if the resident does not comply with requests
Physical and emotional abuse appears in many ways in a nursing home due to the understaffing and overworking of nursing home caregivers. All types of physical and emotional abuse place your loved one in harm’s way and are against the law.
Even if a caregiver or nursing home employee remains overworked due to their facility remaining understaffed, there is no reason your elderly loved one should suffer.
Forest View Understaffing Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact a Forest View Understaffing Lawyer
If you feel or suspect that your elderly loved one in a nursing home suffered any kind of abuse or neglect by the nursing home staff or management due to understaffing, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine your legal rights and how your elderly loved one can receive justice with the help of an understaffing lawyer.