Understaffing in Nursing Homes: Effects on the Elderly

Nursing home facilities are in front of an understaffing crisis, which can lead to serious injuries or even death among nursing home residents. Some states don’t have legal mandates on the ratio of nursing home staff to senior residents, meaning the problem can go unchecked.

For years, one of the underlying causes of Elder Abuse and Neglect affecting nursing homes across the country is the understaffing issue. When nursing facilities do not have enough staff to give each patient adequate attention, it leads to mistakes and neglect. At the same time, when staff is extremely overworked and stressed, there is a greater risk that they will commit abusive acts out of frustration.

Understanding the Issue of Understaffing

Understaffing in nursing homes is a serious problem that goes underreported and has plagued nursing homes for decades. Nursing homes face understaffing problems because there are often pressures to cut costs. This results in facilities taking in more residents than their staff can effectively care for. As of right now, 90% of nursing homes are currently understaffed.

Studies have proven that residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are at a greater risk of worsening illnesses, medication errors, malnutrition, infections, and even death. Families of elderly patients are increasingly noticing this problem and are starting to hold nursing homes responsible for the abuses that occur as a result.

Effects of Understaffing on Elder Residents

Without enough skilled staff, a facility is unable to provide a high level of care that is personalized for each patient. Nurses in understaffed facilities do not have time to pay attention to detail, and that can lead to:

– Medication errors
– Neglect
– Physical injuries
– Psychological issues
– Worsening illnesses
– Death

It is important for families to understand what under-staffing is and how it affects residents. If under-staffing betrays the trust of a nursing home resident and their family, the facility needs to be held accountable. No nursing home resident ever deserves to suffer when they expected high-quality care.

If someone you love is caught in a possible case of Medical Malpractice or Elderly Healthcare Abuse in one of California’s eldercare facilities, we welcome your call to have a legal consultation to see if we can help you with your case. Contact us at 888-288-0091 or through our website.