Understaffing is a chronic problem in many nursing homes nationwide. Family members who place elderly spouses or parents into nursing homes must be alert to the issue of understaffing in these nursing homes. Understaffing may lead to neglect, and even to physical, sexual, emotional abuse of nursing home residents in some cases.
If you have a senior in a nursing home that is understaffed and you feel that care is suffering, and abuse might be happening, a Savannah understaffing lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can assist you with taking steps toward a lawsuit for negligence against the nursing home. Call today for your free case review at (800) 201-3999.
Nursing Home Understaffing
The understaffing occurring in nursing homes is an ongoing problem. Staff are often paid less than hospital staff, which makes it difficult to find, train, and keep staff. It is also alleged in some quarters that certain nursing homes try to save money by purposefully understaffing their workforce.
An understaffed nursing home can lead to a higher risk of neglect. Residents are more likely to suffer from certain forms of abuse in the home. This can range from staff oversights and mental mistakes to inflicting cruelty and mental anguish on residents.
There are numerous reasons and legal avenues for someone to sue a nursing home, and neglect and abuse is one of the common themes.
Understaffing and staff turnover in nursing homes affects residents in smaller ways, too. One day the elderly resident might be served by a young woman who is a temporary nurse, and the next day may be served by an older male nurse. This random care can lead to residents feeling confused about their care needs.
Research the Nursing Home
Some nursing homes employ only a few full-time, permanent nurses while supplementing the staff with contract nurses through an employment agency. These temporary workers often are not regular enough to form caring bonds with their clients (residents) and thus may be more careless with procedures, medications, meals, and other care needs. These inadequacies can foster neglect in the nursing home.
Some red flags about nursing home understaffing may include
- Amount of staff turnover in the past 2-3 years
- Number of staffing agencies used to apply temporary nurses in the home
- How many full-time staff are present
It is your loved one who is at risk if you do not research the nursing home facility, management, and staff. If you see signs of neglect on your visits, consult with a Savannah understaffing lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. One of our team members can speak with you about your situation, and help you understand what you are seeing and feeling about the staffing issue at the home.
For a free legal consultation with a Understaffing Lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 794-0444
Examples of Neglect in Understaffed Nursing Homes
Neglect of your loved one’s needs in a nursing home can take on many forms. One example is this. Your aging parent may have a daily cycle of certain foods and medications that are necessary to take at regular intervals. If this cycle is not accurately adhered to, it could cause medical conditions to flare up or bring on new ones.
An understaffed nursing home could easily miss this schedule for your loved one. If there are only a few nurses on the clock, overseeing 50 or more patients, that could lead to mistakes and errors in patient care.
Other examples of neglect may include:
- Canceled or forgotten medical treatments – Your elderly parent may need some sort of shot of medication every night before bed. The nursing home staff is expected to prepare and administer the shot. Without it, your loved one may suffer a sleepless, unrestful night. If you learn that this happens frequently, you may seek to hold the nursing home and its management liable for neglect.
- Cleaning maintenance – Inconsistent care in daily cleaning may lead your loved one to have soiled clothing for several days. This neglect in cleaning could lead to bedsores, rashes, or other skin conditions. Your senior may not get adequate shower privileges due to nursing home staff shortages.
- Physical injuries – Elements of neglect can include elder physical abuse, which could include hard grabs or hits that cause bruises, not monitoring a resident’s movements, which could lead to falls, which could result in fractures or broken bones. Some understaffed nursing homes use restraints on residents to “make sure” they stay in place until the attending nurse returns.
- Isolation in room – an understaffed nursing home will have less time to simply move the resident around for socializing with other residents in social areas. This could lead to isolation, mental frailty, and other illnesses. Loneliness, isolation, and possible brain decline can occur when staff members are unavailable to walk residents to a nursing home social activity.
- Poor nutritional service needs – Understaffing could lead to less frequent meals for residents, or meals that are already cold being brought to them. Without the proper amount of people on board to assist, resident nutritional needs go south, and this could lead to dehydration, malnourishment, dizziness, and more.
Savannah Understaffing Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Reach Out to Us Today for Legal Support
It is up to you to fight for your right for a higher standard of treatment for your aging spouse or parent in the nursing home, and a Savannah understaffing lawyer can help. If you witnessed neglect and want to hold the nursing home accountable for its lack of patient care due to understaffing, then contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999.