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blog home Nursing Home Abuse How to Tell If a Phoenix Nursing Home Is Understaffed

How to Tell If a Phoenix Nursing Home Is Understaffed

By Breyer Law Offices on November 30, 2016

All nursing homes operating in the State must be licensed and meet state quality standards. Nursing homes that receive federal monies must also comply with federal certification standards. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees long-term care facilities nationally, as those two programs fund the majority of the facilities. Many nursing homes struggle to maintain staffing levels necessary to provide timely and quality care.

A recent Arizona Sonora News story discussed how Arizona’s number of federally funded beds is approaching 20,000 in nursing homes. The Arizona Department of Health conducts on-site inspections every 12-16 months, which are not announced in advance. If staffing levels are determined to be under the requirements, they can levy fines against the facility. When nursing homes do not have adequate staffing levels, the consequences can be substandard resident care. There are many signs of an understaffed facility including:

  • The staff at the facility seems totally frustrated and agitated from being overworked.
  • You witness staff performing work that they weren’t hired to do. Some examples could be: Those who are clearly dressed for food service (kitchen) leading an activities group or administrators that are assisting with physical work or patient hygiene duties.
  • You notice there seems to be different (new) staff members on each visit, which is an indicator of high employee turnover, which can stem from the stress of working in an understaffed environment.
  • You witness one staff member performing “two person jobs” such attempting to lift a 250 lb. resident to their feet.
  • Regardless of what time of day you visit, the resident is always in bed.
  • It is Noon and a resident’s breakfast tray has yet to be removed.
  • The resident is having recurring problems stemming from dehydration.
  • Bedsores are present on the body resulting from extended periods of lying in bed.
  • There appears to be no supervision of those exhibiting signs of dementia.
  • Resident call button or verbal requests seem to be unanswered.
  • Phones throughout the facility are continuously ringing and not answered.
  • Urinary catheterization usage seems to be the norm, even for residents who deem it unnecessary.
  • Multiple spills on the floor seem to go unrecognized.

A consistently understaffed nursing home is much more than a sign of poor operations management; it has dangerous ramifications resulting from the continuous neglect of the elderly, who are likely vulnerable as a result of some physical or mental incapacities. We will take the negligence and carelessness that your loved one experienced very seriously. We will seek fair compensation that would allow you to find them a more caring long-term care environment to live in, cover medical expenses, while accounting for your anguish and hardship.Contact our Phoenix nursing home neglect attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. today at (602) 267-1280 for a complimentary consultation.

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