Staffing shortages have always been an issue in nursing homes. These staff shortages could exist for many reasons. It may be a matter of low pay leading to low morale, poor training, and management, or just difficult working conditions for the workers.
What happens in staffing shortages is that the current workers are overworked and overstressed. This overwork could lead to mistakes and errors related to the basic needs of nursing home residents. This failure in caring for the elderly residents could result in not providing adequate nutrition or failing to help patients who require assistance with eating, missing medication times, or skipping required times for sanitization and overall cleaning.
If you have an elderly spouse or parent in a nursing home, and you’ve seen clues of mistreatment or lack of treatment, then Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can discuss the details of your loved one’s nursing home experience. Our team can work with you to examine any recurring patterns of poor care in the home. Failing to assist with eating and drinking is a form of neglect, according to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
If there is evidence that shows negligent care in the home, we will work with you to develop a lawsuit against the nursing home. Proving negligence in a court case could help to bring about financial restitution to your family for the treatment of your loved one.
Feeding Nursing Home Residents
A common problem among nursing homes lies in the area of feeding assistance to seniors and overall inadequate food service. Understaffed nursing homes can create conditions where food preparation is minimal, food service management is lacking, and the residents’ nutritional needs are woefully lacking. When you put all of those together, it can turn into a recipe for negligence in the nursing home.
Nursing home residents are often paying for meal plans that include two or three meals a day. This schedule should be carefully attended to by the staff.
Too many workers at nursing homes simply bring a tray of food to the resident’s room, without attending to feeding the resident. Some of the residents may be okay with this minimal service, but others may need to help with cutting the food, scooping the food into a spoon, and carefully feeding the elderly person with the food from the plate. When this does not happen, residents cannot eat properly, the food gets cold, and the dinner is often wasted. This leads to possible malnourishment, which is certainly under the umbrella of negligence.
The extra work involved in spoon-feeding the resident may become too much for the already overworked nursing home staff. One staffer may ask another to help out and feed a resident. If the other staffer neglects or forgets to feed a resident or give them medication, that can cause nutritional imbalances, leading to headaches, pain, or more.
Nursing homes should effectively control these lapses in basic needs for the residents. Some may be more serious than others. For example, residents who are not eating on time or being fed improperly may get dizzy and pass out. The resident may suffer injuries from a fall or possibly even worse.
Other residents may not receive their medication in a timely manner, or not at all. When this happens, the elderly person can become confused or disoriented. It may even lead to seizures or death. These acts of negligence are often the base of personal injury claims against the staff of a nursing home.
Nursing Homes That Abandon Patients
Unfortunately, these lapses in food service to residents often have roots in larger issues around the idea of patient abandonment. Nursing homes are negligent when they abandon their patients. It goes against a professional code of conduct. If a nurse neglects a patient’s needs, or simply abandons the patient, without making any prior arrangements for another to cover, the nurse can be charged with patient abandonment.
If a nurse leaves the building to get a coffee nearby without mentioning that to anyone on staff, that could be viewed as patient abandonment. If a nurse jumps onto a conference call with a doctor, without turning a patient over to other staffers, that too could be viewed as patient abandonment. If the patient gets injured as a result of the absence, the nursing home could have to defend itself against charges of negligence, malpractice, or more.
Filing a Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit against a nursing home facility that is supposedly caring for your loved one is a tough task sometimes. It is difficult to understand why the nursing home is not providing the standard of care you expected. If the nursing home is not providing adequate nutrition or failing to help patients who require assistance with eating, then the staff must be investigated to determine the cause of the problems.
That is where Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Our team can ask the right questions, uncover the pertinent details, and help you to file a legal claim for negligence against the nursing home staff. Contact us today at (800) 842-6336 to learn more about how we can help you with your battle against a negligent nursing home.