Contact
How can we help?
Attorney

Understaffed Nursing Homes in Carrollton

What to do about end of life care is a difficult decision for everyone. After all, no one “wants” their loved ones to end up in a nursing home. However, due to unavoidable circumstances and needs, many elderly individuals will spend the last years of their life in a nursing home. If the world was as it should be, these nursing homes would be well staffed, with loving and highly trained medical professionals who see to their every need. Unfortunately, in reality, they are most often understaffed, which leads to all sorts of problems. If you suspect a loved one is being neglected in an understaffed nursing home, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.

What The Stats Say About Nursing Home’s Staffing

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 54% of nursing homes do not presently meet the requirement for time with patients. The new federal standards recommend all nursing home patients get at least two hours of care on a daily basis from nurse’s aides. The guideline also recommends nurses spend at least 12 minutes daily with each patient. Only 31% of nursing homes currently meet this standard. Furthermore, a nursing home study found that more than 40% of nursing home patients have experienced abuse and reported it, and more than 80% reported that either themselves, another patient, or the facility itself had been neglected.

What it Means For Patients/Residents Living in Understaffed Nursing Homes

When the workforce of a nursing home is simply overwhelmed with their duties due to a lack of employees, it becomes a problem for all involved. Most importantly, it of course leads to unnecessary complications for the patients. Some of the most commonly noted issues that are frequently made worse or caused by understaffed nursing homes are as follows:

  • Muscle Atrophy, Immobility & Physiological Issues: Nursing home residents who don’t have the ability to move around on their own run the risk of developing bed sores and can also suffer muscle atrophy. When a person is unable to move without assistance, they must be turned over to prevent bed sores. It is also necessary for such patients to move, to prevent the loss of what little mobility they still have. Also, it isn’t good for a patient to have no contact with anyone all day. This can negatively affect their emotions resulting in physiological problems.
  • Neglecting Patients’ Needs: Most people in a nursing home are there because they are unable to live alone. They also might need more care than even their family can provide. Unfortunately, due to the significant issue of under staffing, many patients aren’t any better off in a nursing home than they would have been with family or at home. The administration of medication, helping a patient go to the restroom, cleaning their bodies and helping them groom and dress themselves are all tasks that get put aside when there aren’t enough nurses and/or nurse’s aides to tend to patients.
  • Patient AbuseIt seems unfathomable that the very people who are employed to help patients would abuse them, though unfortunately it happens. This can be physical abuse of course, but it is also sometimes noted as emotional abuse. Admittedly, when patients are suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they can become difficult to handle. However, that is no excuse for patients to be abused. If you suspect your loved one is being abused, here is where to report abuse for Georgia nursing homes.

The Reason Behind Understaffed Nursing Homes

As with many things in life, the root of the problem lies in money. Some nursing homes purposely under staff in order to make more money. They pay less people to do the work that should be done by more employees, then they end up banking the extra. Thankfully, this isn’t true of all nursing homes. Sometimes, a nursing home simply can’t hang on to good nurses or nurse’s aides. Often times, this is because the medical professionals get tired of being overworked and move to another job. Therefore, the fact that nursing homes are frequently understaffed, leads to people quitting, which continues to reduce staff, thus the issue continues to build.

The problem of understaffed nursing homes is only going to get worse. The census in 2010 found that more than 40 million people are more than 65 years of age, and within that group, around 13% are over 85 years of age. This means more and more people will be entering nursing homes in the coming years. Unless something is done quickly, this issue is going to hurt more and more families.

Making Improvements

One way to improve the problem of understaffed nursing homes is new government legislation that requires a certain amount of a nurse’s or nurse’s aide time is spent with each resident, like was mentioned above. Another way is making these facilities that regularly under staff or abuse and neglect their residents pay for the damage and heartache they have caused. If you or someone you love has been affected by elder abuse at the hands of an understaffed nursing home, call us today for a consultation. You could be entitled to compensation.