Phoenix Nursing Home Understaffing Lawyers
People visit establishments that are understaffed every day. Restaurants, hotels, and more – sometimes it seems that everyone has staffing problems of some sort. But when it comes to understaffing at nursing homes, it’s a bigger problem because lives are at stake.
Understaffing at nursing homes is a problem that’s all too common across the country, and it’s the main reason for elder neglect and abuse. Sometimes the owners or administrators of nursing homes understaff the establishment intentionally, in order to make a bigger profit by paying fewer payroll expenses. Other times, there just isn’t enough staff to attend to all the residents in the nursing home, no matter how hard the owners try to fill positions.
When a nursing home becomes understaffed, it places extraneous stress on the existing staff members in place. This stress can come in the form of overtime, sometimes 14 hours or more, and additional duties placed on them that they just don’t have the time to complete. This stress can sometimes lead to the physical and emotional abuse of the elderly that are within the care of the staff. While the stress is no excuse for abuse of any kind, it is the leading cause of elderly abuse within nursing homes.
Because understaffing at nursing homes also places extra demands on the staff within the home, they can sometimes find it difficult to perform all of their given tasks within one day, or one shift. When this happens, things can quickly become overlooked. Medications can be forgotten, patients can be left in their beds without being turned or moved, leading to muscle atrophy. Sometimes, residents can even go unfed or left in their pajamas all day, because the staff in place simply didn’t have time in their day to tend to them, or with all the other demands placed on them throughout the day, they forgot. Again, this is never an excuse for elderly abuse or neglect, but it does happen. More often than we’d like to think about.
Overtime also isn’t always viewed as something to be feared or avoided by staff members. Overtime hours often bring an increased pay for those hours, plus the bonus of being looked upon favorably by the owner or supervisor, because those staff members are willing to go above and beyond. However, as anyone with a loved one in a nursing home knows, being there simply isn’t enough if the proper care and treatment isn’t being administered.
There’s no question that understaffing at nursing homes can lead to many hardships, for both the staff that’s in place and most of all, the residents within their care. It’s the main reason for elder abuse, one of the biggest problems society is facing today. And while many nursing homes have been held accountable through fines and lawsuits throughout the years, there is still much to be done.
If you have a loved one currently staying in a nursing home, it’s essential that you ask about the staff to resident ratio. Make sure that there is enough staff to care for your loved one, as well as the other residents. You can also make sure that your loved one is getting the care they need by asking them how often they see the nurse or caregiving staff, and how long the staff stays with them when they are in their room. Be sure to always look for signs of elder abuse, such as bedsores, or side effects from missing doses of their medication.
Want to know more about elder abuse and what can be done about it? Call Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 457-6222 today, and take one step closer to getting your loved one the proper care they need. We are qualified and compassionate nursing home abuse attorneys in Phoenix that know the laws surrounding elder abuse, and understand the leading cause of it.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer