When helping your elderly relative locate a suitable nursing home, you have probably invested a significant amount of time and money. In return, you can expect high standards of care. Unfortunately, things don’t always pan out this way, and your loved one could face abuse or neglect.
Understaffing contributes significantly to issues of neglect within nursing home facilities. The causes of understaffing are multifaceted. They may be the result of an owner trying to cut corners. At the same time, there may not be enough staff available. Either way, the consequences of understaffing can be devastating.
Staff shortages place additional pressure on the existing staff
Not only does understaffing leave a shortfall, but existing staff have to take up the slack. Even at the best times, caring for older adults can be a physically demanding job, despite its rewards. The prospect of employees becoming overwhelmed by a too intense workload is simply unavoidable. Ultimately, this means that your loved one goes without and potentially faces neglect.
Abusers could take advantage of gaps in the staffing
Fewer staff members mean a lesser ability to monitor what is going on within the facility. This could embolden abusive staff, who believe they can get away with it. Additionally, staff who are under increased pressure may be inclined to become irritable and eventually lose patience with residents.
Understaffing is not a valid reason for your loved ones to go without the care they deserve. If you feel that a family member has been let down or abused in a nursing home, there may be legal options available to you.