Cincinnati Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer reviewing Nursing Home understaffing Linked to neglect and patient Abuse
The demand remains high for long-term health center staff, and nursing homes are often left shorthanded, leading to serious issues and risks for residents. A report published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that some nursing staff agencies fail to perform background checks, and results in the hiring of employees with no experience, histories of criminal activity, and drug and alcohol abuse. Such factors may contribute to subsequent elder abuse or Ohio nursing home abuse. One study concluded that 90 percent of nursing homes may hire staff with a criminal record.
Of the hiring agencies involved in the above study, only about half conducted federally-approved criminal background checks. Several failed to subject employees to drug tests. The failure to perform drug checks is concerning considering all the medications around nursing homes that could potentially be stolen or abused by staff members.
Investigators found registered sex offenders working in nursing homes and staff with criminal convictions in crimes such as burglary and forgery. Forty-three states require nursing homes to conduct criminal background check, but only ten states require both a state and FBI background check that would detect convictions in multiple states.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury attorney and nursing home neglect lawyer with experience in injuries and deaths due to Ohio nursing home understaffing and neglect.
Mr. Lyon has represented plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of nursing home negligence, wrongful death and injury claims in ManorCare, Laurel Healthcare and the following Genesis operated nursing homes:
- New Lebanon Center
- Troy Center
- Bryan Center
- Twin Rivers Center
- Swanton Valley Center
- Sylvania Center
- Perrysburg Center
- Point Place Center
- Circleville Center
- Presidential Center
- Homestead Center
- New Lexington Center
- West Bay Center
- Marietta Center
- The Heights
- Park East Center
Patients Suffer from Nursing Home Understaffing
The Journal of the National Medical Association found that up to 90 percent of nursing homes are understaffed. As a result, patients suffer the consequences and suffer more infections, injuries and preventable deaths.
Understaffing inevitably leads to patient neglect. When facilities have too few workers, the patients don’t get the attention they require, their medical conditions go unnoticed, and their emotional health may deteriorate. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends federal standards for patients to receive a minimum of two hours of personal care each day. The agency says that over 50 percent of nursing homes currently fall below that proposed standard.
The understaffing problem at American nursing homes is both attributed to the fact that employers struggle to find high-quality nurses and that cost-cutting measures affect the quality of care. When nursing homes cut labor costs for a larger bottom line, they tend to hire staff members with less training. Many trained medical professionals also prefer to work in other health care environments, so it is difficult to retain the best staff. Yet, long-term care facilities have a responsibility to care for patients and prevent neglect and abuse.
Nursing Home Understaffing Linked to Abuse
When nursing homes facilities are understaffed it is the residents who suffer the most. If your loved one resides in an understaffed nursing home, be aware that serious risks are involved. If a resident is particularly immobile in a nursing home, they must rely on staff to help them in daily functions like using the bathroom or bathing regularly.
Bed sores are a major concern when there is a lack of mobility. Staff members who are overworked are also more likely to miss signs of infection, which then leads to delayed diagnoses, treatment and complications. If you have a loved one in a nursing home and have concerns about understaffing and neglect, consider contacting an experienced attorney.
A high number of neglected patients end up developing life-threatening infections, dehydration and other serious conditions that could be prevented if homes are staffed properly. Neglect in understaffed nursing homes is likely to lead to the following situations:
- Immobility-related Conditions—Bed sores, muscle atrophy and skin infections can develop when a facility is understaffed.
- Fall injuries—understaffed nursing homes cannot monitor patients and more fall injuries occur.
- Emotional Neglect—understaffed centers risk patients’ physical well-being as well as emotional and mental deterioration without the attention residents need.
- Abuse—an overworked staff could experience stress that leads to more instances of losing tempers and abusing patients.
If a loved one has suffered from an injury at an understaffed nursing homes due to neglect, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Ohio nursing home understaffing.