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Many nursing home issues stem from understaffing

Nursing home staff members may do everything in their power not to neglect your loved one, but this neglect can still happen. It often does occur in facilities all over Illinois. So, if the staff members are working as hard as they can and they know the dangers of neglecting the residents, how does this problem persist?

The reasoning is often very simple: There just are not enough workers to provide proper care. Understaffing by management means that neglect is unavoidable.

For instance, two of the most common nursing home issues are:

  1. Not providing all necessary services for every resident.
  2. Ignoring the preferences that those residents have.

Both issues can be traced back to understaffing.

Perhaps an elderly person would like to get up at 7:30 a.m., for example. However, without enough people on staff to easily help get all residents up in the morning, workers cannot honor that preference. They have to work quickly, in shifts, and they force the person to wake up at 6:00 a.m. instead. This can lead to unhealthy sleeping patterns and all sorts of health complications.

Or, perhaps the staff can't always help residents take showers and change their clothes. It's just such a long process, and they tell residents to either do it alone or hire their own aides. Hiring an aide is an unneeded expense, and telling residents to shower without assistance can increase injury risks, particularly through falls.

If your loved one is being neglected, the management may be more responsible than the staff members who are on duty. Make sure you understand all of the legal options you have.

Source: Justice in Aging, "20 Common Nursing Home Problems - and How To Resolve Them," Eric Carlson, accessed March 19, 2018

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