Many nursing home staff members are extremely caring, doing their best to help residents of the facility live a healthy and safe life, all while providing activities and conversations that brighten the day of the resident.
However, some nursing home facilities undermine the work of these dedicated employees by not hiring enough staff members to do the job. By limiting employee hiring, the facility can save money, but it will place the residents in danger of suffering significant injuries by leaving them in potentially life-threatening situations.
If you believe your loved one’s nursing home is purposefully keeping staff numbers low to save on costs, placing your family member in danger, consider hiring a Los Angeles understaffing lawyer from our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We know how to hold nursing homes liable for this type of action, standing up for the rights of the residents. Call us today for a free case review.
Prevalence of Understaffing Problems in Nursing Homes
According to Kaiser Health News, a federal report showed that many nursing homes lie to the government about their ratio of residents to staff members, hoping to avoid problems with Medicare reimbursement. The report showed weekends are the most common time for a facility to have an inadequate number of staff members on duty.
Dangers of Understaffing
When the nursing home does not have enough staff members working to help residents, it can lead to multiple problems, including:
- Inadequate care: where staff members and nurses may not be able to check on the well-being of residents as often as they should because they are trying to care for too many residents during a shift.
- Late medication: where residents may not receive the medications they need at the times they need them because staff members are too busy to deliver them.
- Late meals: where residents may not receive meals at the expected time because too few staff members are available to help move the residents to the dining area.
- Poor response times: where staff members overwhelmed with too many patients may not be able to respond to an emergency situation quickly enough, leading to a worsening injury for the resident.
- Mistakes: where staff members who are trying to do too many tasks may make a mistake while they are hurrying, leading to a potential medication overdose or another significant injury.
- Infections: where staff members facing an overwhelming number of patients may not change catheters often enough, may not spend the time to wash their hands properly, or may not move bedridden patients frequently enough, any of which could lead to serious infections for the resident.
We have seen far too often the problems that occur when a nursing home staff is short-handed. The facility tries to save a few dollars by refusing to hire enough people, all while placing residents in significant danger, which may be a case of neglect. A Los Angeles understaffing lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to defend your loved one’s rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Understaffing May Lead to Abuse
When a nursing home facility does not have proper staffing, those workers who are on the job could become easily frustrated. Staff members know better than anyone when the facility does not have the right number of workers on duty, and they know this means they have to work extremely hard to do the tasks that need to be done.
Sometimes, the employee becomes frustrated with the situation he or she is facing. Although the staff member’s anger may be directed at the facility and the administration, he or she may end up taking out their frustration on the residents.
Dealing with Caregiver Stress
Serving as a caregiver at a nursing home can be a stressful job, according to the National Institute on Aging. When feeling stress, caregivers, either at home or as a nursing home employee, may need to join support groups or take some time off to help them reset and gain a new perspective on the job.
Without a good outlet for the caregiver, this stress can lead to abuse against the residents. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than 50% of staff members at nursing homes in the United States have admitted to mistreating residents within the previous year.
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Advocating for Nursing Home Residents
Nursing home residents also may be keenly aware when the facility does not have the proper number of people working during a particular shift. They realize when food or medication is late and when staff members are showing frustration.
However, the residents may be wary of filing a complaint with the administration, afraid of being punished. In a case like this, others need to protect the residents’ well-being, filing complaints on their behalf and holding the nursing home accountable for not having enough staff members on hand to handle the patient population.
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Let Us Negotiate with the Nursing Home’s Insurer on Your Behalf
Any time your loved one living in a nursing home suffers an injury, you should pay attention to the circumstances that led to the injury. If you notice that it did not seem like an appropriate number of staff members were on duty at the time your loved one suffered the injury, the facility could be liable for your loved one’s pain and suffering and medical bills. We will negotiate with the insurance company for you, leaving you time to care for your loved one.
We have an understanding of what kind of staff-to-resident ratio a nursing home should have to operate safely. If you hire a Los Angeles understaffing lawyer from our team, we will study the facts in the case, including medical records for your loved one, employment records at the nursing home, and the facility’s history, to determine exactly what happened.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we take pride in our ability to protect the rights of vulnerable people, such as nursing home residents, who need advocates to stand up for them against facilities that do not follow through on the promises they made regarding care. Call us as soon as possible for a free consultation.