The issue of understaffing in nursing homes is one that directly affects the quality of care that residents receive. In some cases, understaffed nursing homes can lead to resident neglect and even elder abuse. Mistakes can occur in nursing homes that do not have enough staff for the resident’s needs. More dangerously, if nursing home staff members are overworked and stressed, they may take it out on the residents, resulting in possible elder abuse.
It is critically important that nursing homes are staffed adequately to handle the needs of our vulnerable parents and other older citizens. If you have a loved one in a nursing home that appears to be understaffed, consider what a San Francisco understaffing lawyer can do for you. To find out what legal recourse you can take against the nursing home management, owners, and staffers, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Understaffed Nursing Homes
Understaffing has been a problem in the nursing home field for some time, according to Health Service Insights. A high turnover rate can also lead to caregiver shortages. Nursing home care involves both physical and emotional labor, and some staff members move on when they experience too much stress, leaving their colleagues to care for their share of residents in their absence.
The hiring process can take a long time, as nursing home caregivers must possess training and certifications in some cases. Nursing home administrators also should conduct background checks and thorough interviews ahead of hiring any caregiver. According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the government took actions to address the problem of understaffing in nursing homes that receive federal aid. The report noted that some nursing homes experience shortages over the weekends and at various points of the day, which can interrupt effective care for the elderly.
Consequences of Understaffing in Nursing Homes
Residents who live in understaffed nursing homes may face higher risks of getting infections, catching pneumonia, losing weight, having bedsores, becoming dehydrated, and suffering from malnutrition due to abuse or neglect.
If you are a family member looking after your aged parent, any of these signs should ring a bell for understaffing in the nursing home. In these instances, you may want to explore a path to a lawsuit to hold the nursing home negligent for these elder abuses. You have the right to seek legal help from a San Francisco understaffing lawyer.
For a free legal consultation with an understaffing lawyer serving San Francisco, call (800) 794-0444
What Causes Understaffing in Nursing Homes?
Nursing homes are understaffed due to a variety of reasons. One of the big ones before the coronavirus epidemic was the issue of cost. Ideally, nursing homes should readily employ registered nurses and nursing assistants, but their budgets are often already stretched and the homes just cannot pay the high salaries. Instead, the existing staff members work more shifts and longer hours.
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How Understaffed Nursing Homes Fails Residents
An understaffed nursing home neglects its residents in different ways. Maybe you have an aging relative in a nursing home who needs help with everyday medical and personal needs. If the staff is overworked, they may be unable to provide consistent, reliable help to your senior resident.
Medical treatments might unexpectedly get canceled, physical cleaning routines may go undone, and residents’ physical needs to get out of bed may just stop. The inconsistent care could cause your relative to suffer from neglect in the nursing home. Or worse, it could lead to certain forms of elder abuse, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.
Examples of understaffing in nursing homes resulting in neglecting the residents’ needs could include:
- Not cleaning and re-clothing residents, who may end up wearing the same clothes for several days in a row.
- Failure to assist with daily baths or showers for the residents, which can cause infections or bedsores.
- Missed or incorrect medications given to the resident as a result of overworked nurses rushing through their daily task list and making mistakes.
- No physical movement of the residents, which can lead to bedsores.
- Loneliness and isolation, which affects quality of life.
- Malnourishment from poor diet, lack of drinking water, and possible dehydration.
- Possible elder abuse from residents taking advantage of another in the absence of constant nursing staff attention.
- Physical injuries from residents trying to move on their own, without assistance.
Any one of these situations can break the spirit of a nursing home resident. These signs mean your loved one may be experiencing harm of some type due to understaffing. If you feel that your loved one’s nursing home is being negligent in its care, it is time to look into investigating the nursing home.
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Consider a San Francisco Understaffing Lawyer
You do not need to let your loved one suffer without taking legal action. If you suspect elder abuse or neglect is occurring in the home, you may want to immediately remove your loved one and relocate them to a different nursing home. You can then begin investigating the nursing home. You can ask to speak to a manager and make a formal complaint. You also have the option to seek legal representation to pursue an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Consider a San Francisco understaffing lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today if your aging senior is being mistreated or abused due to understaffing in a nursing home. Give us a call to discuss your case.