The reason people put their loved ones in nursing homes is out of concern for their health and safety. Families with young children or two working adults may not have the time or mental energy to provide care for an older, vulnerable family member.
At a nursing home, there are staff members available around the clock who should understand the best way to support older adults. Unfortunately, neglect is a persistent issue at nursing homes. Residents may not receive the support that they need to remain healthy and safe.
Why is neglect such a prevalent issue at nursing homes?
Understaffing is a widely used nursing home practice
The majority of nursing homes are actually for-profit businesses. The goal is to take in more money in monthly payments from residents or from Medicaid than they spend providing care for the residents. One of the easiest ways for a nursing home to keep costs low is to reduce how many people they have on staff and how many hours those employees work.
Workers who put in less than 35 hours may not have the right to benefit packages. Fewer workers on hand will help keep costs lower as well. Federal researchers have found that understaffing is a pressing issue at a significant number of nursing homes.
It doesn’t take much research to connect inadequate staffing with adverse outcomes for individuals living in a facility. When there aren’t enough staff numbers on hand, people may not receive their medication, might fall going to the bathroom or might have unaddressed medical issues, like bedsores, that continue to get worse because of neglect.
Taking action after nursing home neglect has harmed a loved one will help you protect them and perhaps others in a vulnerable situation.