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An Understaffed Nursing Home Is a Leading Factor in Elder Abuse and Neglect

An Understaffed Nursing Home is a Leading Factor in Elder Abuse and Neglect

Almost 50 percent of all nursing homes in the United States are short staffed, which has created an epidemic of nursing home abuse and neglect. When nursing home facilities are understaffed, the residents’ care is often neglected and abuse becomes prevalent.

There have been many reasons given for the understaffing of nursing homes. Some believe that it has to do with the fact that many of the nursing home facilities are owned by public corporations looking to increase the bottom line. By cutting back staff, the profit margin goes up. Other experts believe it has to do with government programs, such as Medicaid. Many nursing homes rely on payments from Medicaid, but often the amount paid is not high enough to cover nursing home costs. As a result, residents are not given the best level of care.

Nursing homes that are understaffed frequently lead to employee burnout and stress. Nursing staff becomes overworked and tired, which can lead to short tempers with the residents. Unfortunately, some residents become the victims of elder abuse, either physical or verbal. Nursing home staff members also do not have the time to focus on the individual care of each resident, when the facility is short staffed. A poor nurse to resident ratio can cause serious problems, such as malnutrition, dehydration, poor hygiene and bed sores. Since care becomes inadequate, it is not uncommon for medications to be given in either too high or too little doses.

If you believe that your family member has been neglected or abused at a nursing home due to understaffing, you should contact a Florida nursing home abuse attorney immediately. Call the law offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP at (863) 683-1111 for advice regarding your elder abuse case.

The article, Impact of Understaffing in Nursing Homes , has more information on this subject.