One of the major problems in nursing homes is understaffing. This is an issue that has been going on for a long time. Turnover rates for caregivers tend to be high, and many nursing homes barely have enough caregivers to meet everyone’s needs.
There are many reasons for this. Working in a nursing home is a demanding and stressful job. It also tends not to pay very well, so people move on when they need to make more money. Additionally, caring for the elderly is simply not a job everyone can do, so the potential pool of workers is smaller than it would be in other occupations.
What kind of issues does understaffing create?
When nursing homes are understaffed, it can lead to instances of neglect. The workers may not do this intentionally. But they just don’t have any choice because there aren’t enough people.
For example, many nursing homes have call buttons in the residents’ rooms. Say that there are three workers on staff and six alarm buttons go off. They can only answer three at a time, even working as quickly as they can. If there’s an actual emergency, the person suffering it could be neglected when they just do not get assistance or care very quickly.
Understaffing can also lead to serious issues if a worker is sick, has to take time off or leaves unexpectedly. If the nursing home is already running right at the edge of not having enough staff, one person being out can cause massive ramifications as everyone else tries to pick up the slack.
Unfortunately, this means that understaffing can lead to injuries stemming from neglect. The family members of elderly individuals who have been harmed need to know about all of their legal options.