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Nursing home conflicts, burnout and potential neglect

When you choose a nursing home for your loved one, you don’t want them to face neglect from the staff. At the same time, you know that burnout among the staff members can make neglect more likely.

What you’re looking for is a nursing home where the staff seems friendly, engaging and excited to do their job well. If they’re fatigued and burned out from working too hard, working long shifts, not having enough staff members on the schedule at the same time or some other factor, your loved one may not get the proper care.

Some studies have found that one potential source of burnout among the staff is when they have conflicts with the families of the residents. This lowers their satisfaction with their job. It can lead to apathy, frustration, anger and sub-standard care.

The tricky thing that the studies found, though, was that one of the main sources of conflict was when staff members and family members had different expectations about care. As a result, the staff often felt that they did not get enough time to get their tasks done effectively.

The problem is that there is a fine line here. Yes, family members shouldn’t be overly pushy and demanding, but you have to look at the other side as well: If the staff takes far too long to get tasks done and offers care that doesn’t meet basic expectations, is that evidence that your loved one is being neglected? Slow response times when residents need assistance are a serious problem, whether that’s frustrating for workers or not.

In a case like this, where conflicts arise due to neglectful, sub-standard care, it’s important for family members to know what legal options they have.

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