Nursing home care in New Mexico was generally poor before the pandemic. Now, there are concerns that the situation will get even worse. The primary cause for this is that nursing homes often do not have enough staff to care for their residents. This is not accidental.
Nursing homes are businesses that seek to make profits, and staffing is one of their biggest costs. Some may try to keep staffing levels artificially low to inflate their bottom line. There are always reports of seniors who end up sitting around soiled and waiting hours for someone to change them because there is no staff around to help. This increases their risk of developing illnesses such as urinary tract infections and bedsores, not to mention the negative impact it has on their dignity.
Staffing at nursing homes is not just a matter of numbers. The nursing home could have an adequate complement of employees but a staff that is heavily concentrated in nursing aides. It may have cut back on the more highly trained and paid RNs who are vital to the residents’ health care. The facility could also have neglected training and failed to invest in its current employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has scrambled nursing home care throughout the country, and facilities are having trouble finding the staff that they need. Many are not even bothering to make the effort because they never did before the pandemic. In the end, the residents are at risk, and a flood of nursing home neglect lawsuits is expected in the near-future.
If your loved one has been harmed in a nursing home, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. First, you would need to prove that the nursing home was negligent in their care. Understaffing is not necessarily negligence on its own, but it would usually result in acts of negligence. Consider contacting an attorney familiar with nursing home abuse and neglect to review your case.