Understaffing is a serious issue that has plagued nursing home facilities. It is a contributing factor to neglect and abuse in nursing homes. As overwhelmed staff members are spread too thin with too many in their care abuse may become more likely. Residents of understaffed nursing homes are often at a greater risk of malnutrition, weight loss, bedsores, dehydration, infections, and pneumonia. Understaffing is dangerous for both staff members and residents.
Reasons for understaffing in nursing homes
- Nursing home owners may, intentionally understaff in order to increase profits. Management may dictate unreasonable patient to staff ratios.
- It may be difficult to find and retain enough trained nurses to provide adequate care to all residents. High turnover may result in the over-scheduling of available staff members and may further increase the understaffing issues.
Consequences of understaffing in nursing homes
- Neglect and abuse are serious concerns that may occur because of the low ratio of employees to residents. Neglect may lead to psychological ailments, emotional distress, and death.
- Understaffing may add to psychological problems and physical illnesses among staff members as they experience increased stress.
Understaffing leads to neglect of residents
Nursing home residents are dependent upon the caregivers for bathing, eating, grooming, and medication. Understaffing creates difficulties in feeding and giving medication to all of the residents on time. This can lead to malnutrition, deficiencies in nutrition, and other complications.
Understaffing leads to resident abuse
With limited time to care for each resident, staff members may become impatient and may use unnecessary force when helping residents with their needs.
Prevention of understaffing in nursing homes
The following may help prevent understaffing in nursing homes:
- Strict laws and penalties must be imposed on nursing homes who do not adhere to guidelines for proper staffing and treatment of residents.
- Increased public awareness can help in preventing understaffing in nursing homes.
Contact our nursing home abuse attorneys
If your loved one has been the victim of abuse in a nursing home facility because of understaffing, it’s important to be represented by an experienced attorney. The Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY nursing home abuse attorneys are experienced in handling nursing home abuse cases. We will fight for your rights. Call us at 1-877-504-5562 or contact us here.