The cost of placing someone in a nursing home often seems astronomical. Depending on the location and the level of care required by the resident, the cost is likely to be several thousand dollars each month. Families often struggle to afford that much, even if the older adult in nursing care had substantial assets at one point. Only a few years in a nursing home can quickly eat through a significant estate.
You might imagine that with as much as you pay to keep your loved one in the facility that they receive excellent care. However, many nursing homes are run by for-profit companies. Instead of directing every penny of payments toward patient care, much of that winds up allocated as profit. The business will attempt to keep the costs of nursing home care as low as possible, which often leads to understaffing.
Systemic understaffing is a common issue in nursing homes
People go into nursing home facilities because they can no longer provide daily self-care. They may have issues with dementia or cognitive decline, or they may simply have physical disabilities that prevent them from safely living independently.
Whether the issues are physical or cognitive, residents in nursing homes typically require routine care throughout the day. They may require assistance for everything from dressing themselves and eating to using the bathroom and showering. That may mean they need one-on-one care or even multiple people to assist them, particularly if they are at increased risk for falls.
Unfortunately, understaffing at nursing homes is very common. The facility may schedule the least amount of people they can without violating the laws or their insurance policy. Your loved one may not receive the attention or care that they need, which could put them at risk for negative medical outcomes. Those potential outcomes could include falls that result in broken bones or preventable bedsores that lead to devastating infections.
You can hold nursing homes responsible for neglect related to inadequate staff
Whether your loved one suffered a fall and a broken bone, or developed bed sores or another illness due to negligence, both you and they have legal rights. You may have the option of filing a negligence or injury claim against the nursing home facility.
However, while that claim is pending, you may also need to move your loved one to a safer and better nursing home facility. There is often expense involved in such a move, but you may be able to recoup those costs later.
Working with an attorney who understands the legal implications of elder abuse and nursing home neglect can help you build a case and connect your loved one with the level of care they need to thrive in their later years.