Understaffing in Nursing Homes
Do you have a loved one living in an Illinois nursing home? Does it seem like every time you see them, they have new and unexplained injuries? Are you worried about their deteriorating condition? If so, your loved one may be experiencing abuse or neglect as a result of understaffing in nursing homes. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we proudly represent nursing home residents and their families, helping them pursue compensation from negligent and abusive facilities. We can help you recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect and determine what options you have to hold the parties responsible for your loved one’s condition accountable for their actions.The Link Between Understaffing in Nursing Homes and the Abuse and Neglect of Residents
The mistreatment of nursing home residents is not a new problem. However, in recent years, the instances of nursing home neglect and abuse have skyrocketed. In large part, this is due to industry-wide staffing shortages that were initially brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, years after the arrival of the pandemic, many nursing homes still lack the staff necessary to care for the facility’s residents. By some estimates, nearly 90 percent of nursing homes have experienced understaffing problems.
While understaffing is not the only cause of nursing home neglect and abuse, it is one of the major ones. When a facility is understaffed, the remaining nurses and employees have to pick up the slack—as much as they can. Inevitably, this means less time spent with patients, an increased possibility of making a mistake, and a greater chance of not noticing a resident’s pressing health concern. Of course, nursing homes could stop accepting new residents until staffing ratios improve; however, that would have a negative impact on the facility’s bottom line. As a result, most nursing homes continue to accept new residents despite not having enough staff to care for the residents they already have.
Not only is nursing home understaffing a problem because it means there are fewer workers to care for residents, but those workers who remain are tasked with an incredibly difficult job.
The truth is, the vast majority of nursing home workers are caring people who accepted a job at a nursing home because they enjoy caring for others. However, when the duties of the job become impossible to perform given management’s decisions, it can be incredibly frustrating. Sadly, this frustration is often taken out on nursing home residents
Simply put, nursing home staff members are spread too thin. Because of this, they are not able to provide the care residents need and are more likely to engage in abusive conduct.Is a Nursing Home Liable for Abuse or Neglect Due to Understaffing?
The fact that a nursing home is experiencing a staffing shortage is not an excuse to provide inadequate care and supervision of residents. Thus, if a resident suffers serious injury or death because there were not enough staff members, the nursing home may be liable through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. However, these claims are not necessarily as straightforward as they appear to be, as nursing homes have teams of lawyers ready to jump to their defense. Thus, families considering a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit should consult with a Cook County nursing home lawyer for assistance.Contact the Fotopoulos Law Office to Discuss How You Can Hold a Nursing Home Responsible for Your Loved One's Injuries
Understaffing in nursing homes is rampant, and the harms residents face are very real. If your loved one is living in a Cook County nursing home and you have noticed signs of abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we have more than 20 years of experience investigating, negotiating and litigating claims against nursing homes across Illinois. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer, reach out to the Fotopoulos Law Office at 708-942-8400. You can also reach us through our online contact form.