Nursing home abuse and neglect occurs too often in the United States. If your loved one was subject to abuse or neglect, it could have been due to the understaffing of a care facility. A nursing home is required to have enough staff to properly care for the residents. When a nursing home is understaffed, it is a danger to the residents in the facility.
Exhaustion and Mistakes
An understaffed facility means that the caregivers are probably spread too thin. You may have people who are working multiple, long shifts. Exhaustion affects different people in different ways, but one thing is for certain, it does not make people into better workers. Exhausted caregivers may be unfocused. They may not notice when something is wrong with one of the patients.
Sometimes, exhaustion can make a person quick to anger. Staff may lose their patience with the residents more often. This could lead to verbal abuse, if not physical abuse. Nurses and caregivers cannot pay attention to details when they are overworked and exhausted.
Understaffing and Neglect
High workloads make it difficult for caregivers to provide individual care to each patient. For those patients who are immobile, caregivers may forget about them. They may not receive their meals, they may not have assistance in the bathroom either. The staff may be too busy handling other patients to respond to their needs. Due to this, patients may soil their clothes, they may suffer from hunger while unable to help themselves. Also, if a staff member is not there to turn a patient every couple of hours, they could wind up with bedsores.
In some situations, the staff may try to restrain patients so that they can ease their workload. They may use chemical restraints to keep patients sedated so that they can handle their workload. None of this is ethical or legal, but it is often the result of an understaffed facility.
To have an understaffed nursing home is against federal regulations. While there is no set number for how many caregivers or staff members that a facility has to employ, it does have enough staff members to care for the residents. If the nursing home cannot function to the appropriate standards due to the lack of staff, then it is not enough. If you believe that you have a nursing home abuse case, set up a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer, like the attorneys at Davis & Brusca, LLC, as soon as possible to find out if you have a claim.