We Are Whelchel & Carlton, LLP

How understaffing leads to nursing home neglect

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing homes have been running understaffed for years – and the situation isn’t getting any better. Events of recent years have made the situation even worse, but even before 2020 the lousy pay, heavy workloads and unsafe conditions made it hard for nursing homes to find and keep good employees. 

Understaffing isn’t just a problem for management, it’s also a major hazard for patients. Understaffing leads to:

Insufficient personal care

Many nursing home residents are there because they can no longer physically care for themselves. They need help bathing, dressing, eating and using the bathroom. When staff members are spread too thin, residents may have long waits, which can lead to inadequate hygiene, pressure ulcers, infections and other problems.

Increased danger of medical errors

Nursing home residents rely on staff members to get the medical care they need, but overworked staff members may administer incorrect dosages or miss scheduled medications, with can lead to severe health complications.

Higher risk of accidents and injuries

When there are not enough eyes and hands on residents who are moving around, elderly people can fall – which can lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and more. Wandering and elopement are also an issue for patients with dementia, and they can get hurt easily if they manage to leave the facility.

Inadequate nutrition

Many nursing home residents aren’t capable of feeding themselves, and staff shortages can make it impossible for them to get enough fluids and food. That can lead to malnutrition and dehydration which causes significant health issues.

If your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect due to understaffing, you can make a difference – and the right legal support can help you pursue fair compensation for their injuries and losses.