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Why Understaffed Nursing Homes Are Dangerous

Why Understaffed Nursing Homes Are Dangerous

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Understaffed nursing homes are a huge red flag and can pose a major threat to the residents who depend on staff members’ care.

Today, we’re discussing why understaffed homes are so dangerous and what causes the issue in the first place.

Reasons Nursing Homes Become Understaffed

From finances to high turnover rates, there are a variety of reasons that nursing homes become understaffed, including:

  • Financial Reasons – Some facility owners may try to cut costs by hiring less staff. Less staff means fewer workers to pay and less insurance and benefits packages to cover. Fewer workers can mean higher profits for the facility.
  • Pressure – Working at a nursing home can come with a lot of pressure. Meeting the needs of the members takes a lot of time and patience. Knowing that the well-being of a family’s loved one is in your hands can create pressure that is too much to handle for some employees.
  • High Turnover – The high stress of working in a nursing home can lead to low job satisfaction. This can cause a vicious cycle of understaffing. Less staff means more pressure will be placed on existing employees. This can lead to more turnover and the continuous state of being understaffed.

Dangers of Understaffing

Understaffing in care facilities is problematic and dangerous. The National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys (NANHA) shares three main dangers understaffed nursing homes face:

  1. Immobile Residents – Understaffed nursing homes can be a danger to immobile residents. These patients rely on staff members to physically move around the grounds. Without physical activity, this can affect the patient physiologically and psychologically. Immobile residents also need to be moved from side to side. When the staff ignores this, bedsores and skin infections can occur.
  1. Meals and Medication – Understaffed nursing homes can have a difficult time providing proper nutrition to their residents. They might not be able to give residents proper meals or miss meals entirely. Additionally, residents might not be given their proper medication on time. This neglect can be very detrimental to each resident and can cause their health to decline rapidly.
  1. Verbal and Physical Abuse – Stress, pressure, and being overworked can take a toll on any person. According to Kronos Inc., 96 percent of nursing home employees in a survey reported being tired before their even shift began. With all these factors considered, staff can take out their frustrations on the residents verbally and physically. When abuse occurs, most residents feel ashamed or embarrassed to report it, which causes the abuse to continue. Be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse and report it if you suspect anything alarming.    

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help

If understaffed nursing homes have failed to protect your loved one, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here to fight for the care they deserve. We understand how critical it is to hold negligent nursing home staff accountable for any degree of abuse or neglect their staff has inflicted upon their residents.

Our offices are located in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Contact us to discuss your case today.