All across the country, nursing homes are being run with less than the optimum number of staff. They are being understaffed in a hope to cut costs and increase profits. When nursing homes fail to properly staff their facilities, the chance of accidents and mistakes greatly increases. State and Federal laws set a minimum standard that nursing homes must comply with. The problems arise when facilities choose to ignore these government regulations.
People choose to go to nursing homes not because they want to, but because they are at a point in their lives where they need more care and attention than can otherwise be provdided to them. Many nursing home residents have been finding out that the nursing homes promise to provide them the care and treatment they need is often a fabrication. The nursing homes that choose to understaff their facilities have been rewarded with large profits by failing to provide the required number of nursing hours and as a result, patients of these homes have not received adequate care.
Some problems that can occur when a facility is understaffed are falls, pressure sores, dehydration and malnutrition, all of which stem from an overall lack of quality care and attention. It is easy to blame the staff of the nursing home when problems arise, but in reality the staff is often doing the best it can with the resources it is provided. If there are not enough staff members to provide supervision for the residents who are at risk for falls then it is likely a resident will fall, and it is no stretch of the imagination to assume that if there are not enough staff members to turn and reposition residents who are at risk for the development of pressure sores, that a resident will eventually develop pressure sores.
It is not the nurse’s fault that these injuries are occurring; a nurse can only care for so many residents at once. The facilities are setting their staff up for failure. Without adequate staffing, it is impossible for any resident to truly get the care and treatment they need. Owners of the nursing homes need to stop choosing profits over people and people need to start demanding better nursing home care.
The nursing home attorneys at Levin and Perconti have been fighting against facilities that understaff their Illinois nursing homes. Many residents of nursing homes have come to Levin and Perconti after suffering an injury, only to find out that one of the main reasons that the injury occurred was because the facility they were at was understaffed. Hopefully, the civil liability that these homes are opening themselves up to by understaffing will be enough of a deterrent to stop them from doing so in the future.