Understaffing: The Number One Cause of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing homes are charged with caring for elderly loved ones when a family cannot take up the task. Most nursing homes, as well as the nurses and other people whom they employ, care deeply about the residents in their facility and will do whatever they can to ensure a safe and pleasant stay. However, nursing homes are businesses, and because of that there is often a tension between what is best for the resident and what is best for the bottom line. This is nowhere more evident that in the context of staffing.

samaritan-1246021Nursing homes are very labor-intensive to run. The very nature of the business is to care for people with varying needs and often substantial ones. While there are no laws governing staff-to-resident ratios, it is fair to assume that the lower the ratio, the less individual attention each resident is getting. In some cases, the ratio gets so low that there are not enough nurses to care for the patients in the home. It is under these circumstances that nursing home abuse or neglect is most likely to occur.

Nurses are human, and like all other humans they are capable of getting frustrated and upset, especially when they are overworked. Even a nurse with the best of intentions can lose her temper with a resident if she has no assistance and has been on her feet for the past 10 hours. It is for this reason that nursing home management, in addition to the individual nurses, need to be held liable when an injury does occur.

One Family Loses Their Father in an Understaffed Nursing Home

Earlier this month in Alabama, one family shared their tragic story of nursing home negligence with a local news source. According to the article generated after the interview, the woman’s father was in a nursing home for four years with no problems. Then, suddenly, they received a call saying that their father had suffered a “spontaneous fracture.” Just four weeks later, their father passed away.

As it turns out, the “spontaneous fracture” was caused when a nurse attempted to move the resident without the assistance of another nurse, which is what protocol called for. The nurse dropped the man, and he fell onto the floor, sustaining two broken bones. It took the facility two days to call the man’s family and let them know of his injuries.

Has Your Loved One Been the Victim of Nursing Home Negligence?

If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, they may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience handling cases against negligent nursing homes and their employees. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up your free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Family of Deceased Nursing Home Resident Sues Home Alleging Negligence, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published November 6, 2015.

Recovering for a Family Member Who Was Abused in a Maryland Nursing Home, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 8, 2015.

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