Those who work in nursing homes provide care for people who are incredibly vulnerable. Older adults in such facilities may have cognitive issues and/or medical concerns that leave them unable to live independently or with their immediate family members. They rely on the staff at the facility to support them by meeting their basic needs.
Unfortunately, injuries and illnesses are quite common in modern nursing homes. Falling is a leading cause of injury among other adults, and concern about someone falling is often why their loved ones want them to move to a nursing home. However, the staff at a professional care facility can contribute to an older adult’s risk of falling even though they may be residing where they are primarily to avoid falling. How can the actions of staff members lead to residents falling and getting hurt at nursing homes?
1. They do not come when needed
Many older adults in nursing homes are completely on the professionals providing their care. They need help getting to the bathroom and assistance getting dressed. Unfortunately, understaffing often means there aren’t enough people to help meet those frequent demands throughout the day.
Additionally, underpaid nursing home employees may procrastinate about specific residents that they don’t have a good relationship with or who are notoriously difficult to handle. Not getting to someone who needs help fast enough often means they will try to do it without support and end up injured as a result.
2. They do not prioritize cleanliness
Older adults have a hard time maintaining their balance. They may also have a compromised sense of sight, which will make it more difficult for them to notice spills or errant power cords that might send them flying in the hallway.
Cleanliness is key both to the prevention of the spread of disease and to the maximization of the safety of nursing home residents. When staff members are overextended or cut corners when it comes to facility maintenance, they can create unsafe circumstances that directly lead to a resident suffering and injury. Those who have a loved one get hurt because of preventable issues at a nursing home facility may need to intervene on behalf of their family member.
Pursuing a nursing home negligence claim can help compensate a victim and their loved ones for the physical harm and losses caused by poor professional practices.