A Kentucky Attorney Discusses Inadequate Nursing Home Staffing
One of the major reasons behind both nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect is simple: Nursing homes are often woefully understaffed. Sadly, this lack of properly trained, properly vetted, and experienced staff members results in far too many resident injuries and fatalities each year, all of which should have been prevented.
If your elder loved one has been injured in a nursing home, it is vital that you know what caused the injury and exactly who was responsible. nursing home neglect attorney Seth Gladstein can help you understand your case and secure your family the justice and compensation that you deserve.
To schedule a free, private consultation, please contact us today.
Why Are Nursing Homes Understaffed?
Did you know that an assisted care facility with 200 beds currently has the same staffing requirements as a facility with only 50 beds? Unfortunately, every day, thousands of the elderly are having their basic needs neglected without anyone holding the negligent facilities accountable. There are two main reasons why nursing homes and assisted living facilities are understaffed:
Nursing homes are trying to make more money. The less money that nursing homes spend on paying staff members, training staff members, and vetting staff members, the more money goes to owner and administrator pockets each year. For this reason, many of these businesses cut back to the bare essentials, leaving a handful of under-trained and over-worked certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to care for dozens of residents at a time. It is no surprise that most nursing home residents receive a full hour less of direct nursing care per day than the recommended minimum. It is also no surprise that mistakes and injuries occur regularly.
Nursing home staff often face poor work conditions. Because nursing home businesses are often desperately trying to increase their profits, working conditions at nursing homes can be bleak. Nurses, CNAs, and other staff members may face extremely low wages and long work hours, and have poor benefits, hazardous work environments, and a lack of supervision. Because of these conditions, there is a dire shortage of nursing home staff members, terrible retention rates, and high turnover rates. It is no surprise that the result is under-trained, over-stressed, and inexperienced staff.
The Consequences of Inadequate Nursing Home Staff: Neglect & Abuse
How does a problem with nursing home staffing translate to instances of nursing home neglect and abuse? Let’s take a closer look at the different neglect and abuse issues that can stem from understaffing.
Medication errors. Tired and overworked nurses can easily mix up medications, get dosages wrong, give a medication to the wrong resident, or forget to medicate a patient completely.
Wandering and elopement. A lack of staff members means less supervision and more residents with the opportunity to wander from the grounds.
Malnutrition and dehydration. Not enough hands means that CNAs are often helping over a dozen people eat their meals three times a day. In some cases, patients miss meals or don’t get enough to eat or drink.
Slips and falls. A shorthanded staff may be forced to move patients without enough help or to leave patients unsupervised during baths or exercise. The result is a sharp increase in falls and fall-related injuries.
Pressure sores. Residents who are confined to a bed may suffer bedsores if they are not regularly turned or if their clothing and sheets are not regularly changed by attentive staff members.
Chemical and physical restraints. Small staffs may resort to using chemical and physical restraints to keep patients with cognitive disorders out of trouble and in bed. This can be extremely damaging to the residents’ overall health and quality of life.
Physical and psychological abuse. Overstressed and overworked staff members are significantly more likely to physically and verbally abuse their patients.
Sexual abuse. With a lack of staff supervision, instances of sexual abuse are more likely to occur – and staff members are more likely to get away with it.
Financial abuse. Underpaid staff members working long hours are more likely to try to obtain money through scamming patients. These scams are often paired with physical, emotional, or verbal abuse as well.
All of the above issues are completely preventable, and prevention should have started with the nursing home hiring the proper number of experienced and trained employees. If your elder loved one has suffered harm – and you believe this harm was caused in part by inadequate nursing home staffing – you should contact an attorney immediately.
Request A Free Appointment With Nursing Home Inadequate Staffing Lawyer Seth Gladstein Today
If you or a loved has experienced neglect at the hands of a nursing home staff, you can fight back. Our experienced personal injury legal team is ready to help you aggressively pursue compensation and accountability. Seth Gladstein spent ten years as a lawyer in the healthcare industry and understands the tricks and traps that big business will use to keep you silent and suffering.
Gladstein Law Firm, a Louisville personal injury law firm, only takes on a limited number of clients each year because we believe every one of the injury victims whom we represent deserve our full focus and attention. You don’t have to be a statistic. Contact us today at 1-800-991-0474 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation.