Families Must Remain Vigilant As America’s Nursing Homes Get Worse

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According to elder abuse statistics, approximately 10 percent of older adults experience some kind of abuse, usually from staff at care facilities. In addition, according to a new study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, nurses are more likely to have to abandon necessary patient care in nursing home facilities that have insufficient staffing resources, and this is inevitably linked to poor care quality and increased adverse events.

There is no question that America’s nursing home crisis is going to get much, much worse, and this is especially going to be a problem if some of the county nursing homes end up having to close due to failure to raise Medicaid rates. If county nursing homes have to close, private nursing companies and their staff – especially their nurses – will inevitably be forced to expand and take on more, and this will inevitably lead to more neglect and abuse due to staff constraints. As a result, families have to be vigilant and monitor their loved ones for signs of harm in these facilities.


The Deadly Mistakes and Neglect that Come from a Shortage of Staffing

One of the most common issues that seniors face in these homes is neglect. This could be due to insufficient staffing, which can often result in poor care for residents, such as failing to properly bathe and feed them or rotate them in bed bedsores. This could also translate into medication errors. As a result, families should be on alert for signs of issues like bedsores or even over-medication.

 Specifically, according to the study, more than 70 percent of nurses had to miss one or more very important necessary care tasks on the last shift due to a lack of time and resources. The activities most frequently skipped included comforting patients, developing care plans, performing patient surveillance, speaking with patients, and teaching patients and families. This was especially an issue when nursing home nurses were dissatisfied with their jobs and/or experiencing burn out. 

Families should also be aware that these facilities are more likely to be understaffed on the weekends, especially want to comes to having fewer orderlies and nurses. During these times, patients are especially vulnerable to issues such as bedsores, medication errors, and failing to receive medical attention that they need. And while issues such as bedsores have been highlighted at these facilities, there are a number of issues that can be a lot subtler and more difficult to detect, such as bruises and bumps. In addition to looking for physical changes, also look out for changes in behavior, such as fear, depression, etc., as well as wandering.


Contact Our Florence Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys

If you live in South Carolina and have been injured or lost a loved one due to negligence in a nursing home, contact an experienced Florence nursing home abuse attorney today to find out how we can help.

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