How nursing home understaffing leads to neglect

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2017 | Medical Malpractice |

When it comes to choosing a nursing home in Virginia for your loved one, you should look past the amenities, cost and location. You should also take into consideration its staffing levels. Understaffing is a chronic issue that affects many nursing homes across the nation. 

Take some time to learn how understaffing can impact the standard and quality of care your loved one receives in a nursing home. 

The dangers seniors face 

Nursing home residents are more at risk for suffering injuries and death when nurse to patient ratios fall below certain guidelines, state Scientific American. Many nursing homes require their staff to work long hours and care for more patients to help compensate for this disadvantage. Understaffing results in caregivers and nursing home staff becoming overworked, overwhelmed and interferes with their ability to provide each of their patients with the attention, assistance and care they need. Common issues that residents face when staffing levels are low include:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor hygiene
  • The use of chemical restraints
  • Neglect
  • Abuse 

Due to a lack of funding, resources and properly trained and skilled talent, many nursing home residents are at risk of suffering from neglect. According to Statistic Brain, 58.5 percent of seniors experience some form of neglect and 15.7 percent of them experience abuse. These are reported cases. Many victims live in nursing homes and assisted living centers. Some claims of elderly abuse and neglect go unreported. 

Understaffing leads to high turnovers, the hiring of inexperienced and unqualified professionals and a significant decrease in the quality of care nursing home residents receive. To prevent your loved one from becoming a victim, you should visit and evaluate their physical and mental states frequently and report any signs of abuse and understaffing issues.