Staff members at a nursing home or assisted living facility have the knowledge and training to give your loved one the care and attention they need on a daily basis. However, a serious problem in the staffing department may serve as an underlying cause for nursing home abuse and neglect.
The fact of the matter is, nearly 90% of nursing homes and other facilities are understaffed. It can be costly for these facilities to keep enough registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and other medical professionals on hand. Unfortunately, this issue can trigger abusive and negligent behavior in many of the facilities it affects.
Caring for other patients
In your loved one’s residence, there may be other patients with more immediate medical needs than your loved one. Therefore, the few staff members who work may put some residents’ needs above others, resulting in a potential lack of care towards your loved one. When staffing is stretched thin, employees might overlook your loved one’s daily care needs.
Another problem that understaffed nursing home employees face is exhaustion from pulling long shifts. An overworked nurse may be more prone to the stress and frustration that an understaffed facility can put on staff members. This exhaustion and frustration can make an employee more likely to lash out at residents, putting your loved one at risk of verbal, mental and even physical abuse.
Missing crucial symptoms
A lack of staff also means nursing home employees are more likely to overlook critical medical and healthcare needs in your loved one and other residents. They may fail to administer the correct medication, change your loved one’s bedsheets on time or even notice that your loved one needs to go to the hospital.
Protect your loved one and other residents
While understaffing is often a significant underlying factor of nursing home abuse and neglect, mistreatment can still happen in fully staffed facilities as well. Regardless, the abuse of your loved one is never appropriate.
Whether your loved one’s nursing home is facing understaffing or not, if you suspect negligent or abusive behavior, don’t hesitate to take action to protect your loved one and other residents from further mistreatment.