When your loved one moves into a nursing home, you and your immediate family trust the staff to properly handle the full-time care for them. When a nursing home suffers from understaffing, it may become ill-equipped to handle the volumes of senior residents it acquires.
You may not have noticed understaffing problems until your loved one already suffered as a result of it. If you suspect your spouse or parent suffered as a victim of abuse or neglect due to understaffing in a nursing home, our lawyers may help. Call an understaffing lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Quantity and Quality Go Hand in Hand
One of the problems nursing homes often face revolves around the unbalanced ratio of caretakers to residents. Federally-funded nursing homes require facilities to report payroll records of their staff, but staffing levels fluctuate, recent reports from a Health Service Insights
report. Frequent fluctuations present a problem with maintaining the required standard of care due to each individual resident. Similarly, under-reporting and over-reporting staff and patient ratios only contribute to the problem of quality in our nursing homes.
Understaffing and Legislative Approaches
Although the U.S. Department of Justice took several legislative measures to prevent a lack of quality care in nursing homes, it still occurs in some facilities. The Nursing Home Reform Act addresses adequate numbers of staff members as part of the required standard of care.
Unlike some industries, the quantity of nurses as well as the quality of care they provide prove equally as important in nursing homes. Nursing home staff members suffer from high rates of burnout when they receive a large roster of patients, each with individual needs. Nursing home care requires hard physical, emotional, and intellectual work. When administration overworks staff members, our loved ones suffer as a result.
One report by the Journal of Medical Care Organization, Provision and Financing says that one reason for understaffing revolves around the for-profit nursing home model. Clearly, the financial stakeholders in nursing homes can have negative impacts on the quality of care that our loved ones receive. If understaffing leads to a breach in the standard of care, the facility infringes on the rights of nursing home residents and may cause unnecessary abuse and neglect.
If you want to hold the nursing home organizations liable for any emotional or physical losses your loved one suffered due to understaffing, our lawyers may help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Legal Options for Understaffing in Nursing Homes
A lack of clear legal guidelines for nursing home staffing numbers does not prevent you from pursuing legal action. Any losses resulting from the negligence of someone else may potentially qualify you for a civil court case with a personal injury, breach of contract, or medical malpractice lawsuit claim. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for these particular suits ranges from two years to ten years. Every case involves unique factors, so you can discuss your options with a lawyer as soon as you think you may have a case. Our lawyers may walk you through every step of the litigation process, explaining your rights and options. If we take on your case, we will have your interests in mind and work on a contingency-fee basis. This means we do not accept payment unless we secure financial compensation in your favor.
Collecting Evidence in an Understaffing Case
When you work with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we will handle the burden of the litigation process, including the discovery period, when we collect evidence to support your case.
Evidence that a nursing home’s understaffing contributed to your loved one’s abuse can include any or all of the following scenarios:
- The staff shows signs of physical stress, such as rushing, irritability, and lack of attention to your loved one.
- Single staff members have multiple patients on their rosters for long periods of time.
- Few or no supervisors ensure that caregivers meet all residents.
- When you contact staff about care, they lack the ability to answer your questions due to a lack of training or understanding.
- The nursing home staff tends to work without breaks or for long shifts on consecutive days, which may result in worse care for your loved one.
This presents a non-exhaustive list of ways that understaffing can negatively impact your loved one’s care. Even if neglect proves unintentional, it still breaks the rights of your loved one as a nursing home resident. Perhaps the liability switches from the individual nurse to the organization as a whole. Either way, staffing should provide sufficient care in nursing homes, and your loved one should not suffer as a result of someone else’s negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a Understaffing Lawyer serving Oak Park, call (800) 794-0444
Bring Justice to Understaffed Nursing Homes
When you work with the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we focus on restoring your loved one’s dignity, independence, and right to good quality care. When you bring the issue of understaffed nursing homes to the justice system, you can potentially impact the quality of life for all nursing home residents in the future.
Do not wait to make your voice heard if you suspect that your loved one’s nursing home remains understaffed, leading to residents suffering as a result of it. Call an understaffing lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.