Federal research indicates that as many as 90% of nursing homes in this country are understaffed. Understaffing creates serious problems for patients and can lead to serious health risks and vulnerability. Additionally, staffing has emerged as a key indicator of COVID-19 outbreak risk in nursing homes. Because of understaffing, nursing homes have had to pay out millions of dollars to patients that have suffered from a wrongful death and illnesses related to understaffing of the nursing home.
Signs of Understaffing Nursing Homes
The consequences of understaffing in nursing homes can be felt or witnessed in many ways. Its always a good idea to visit your loved one in a nursing home, when possible, at different times and days. Some studies have found that understaffing is most acute during the weekend. Signs of understaffing in a nursing home include:
Bed Sores and Infections: If bedridden patients can’t be moved enough times, residents can develop muscle atrophy and bedsores. This can lead to skin conditions and even septic shock.
Fall Accidents: If residents’ calls to staff for assistance go unanswered, they may be more likely to get up themselves and suffer a slip and fall accident.
Nutrition Issues: Understaffed facilities may have problems feeding and giving medications to all of the residents on a routine schedule. This can lead to malnutrition, deficiencies in nutrition and other problems arising out of not getting their medications on schedule.
Abuse: Patients are more vulnerable to sexual assault and other abuse during staffing lulls.
Understaffing can indirectly or directly lead to neglect and abuse on the part of the nursing home staff. Patients suffer psychological problems, physical illnesses and even death among the nursing home residents. It’s important to understand what staffing levels are required by the nursing home and how they are performing.
New Jersey Nursing Home Staffing Law
Starting February 1, 2021, New Jersey nursing homes must abide by stricter rules around staffing. Nursing homes in New Jersey must have one certified nursing assistant (CNA) per eight residents during day shifts, one direct caregiver for every 10 residents during the evenings, and one for every 14 during the overnights under new regulations signed into law last week. During the evening and overnight hours, the direct caregivers can include CNAs, licensed practical nurses, or registered nurses, so long as at least half are CNAs.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Don’t wait to act if your loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in their care facility. Our New Jersey nursing home abuse attorneys can explain your legal options, investigate your case, and help you file a claim. Don’t let injustices against your loved ones continue.