Why nursing home shortages put the elderly at risk
Photo of Attorneys T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez walking outside.
Photo of T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez

Why nursing home shortages put the elderly at risk

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Personal Injury

For most Virginia residents, patronizing an establishment with insufficient staffing is merely an irritating inconvenience. However, when it involves a nursing home, the result is a form of neglect that can result in severe injury or death. Here is why staff shortages may put your loved one at risk.

Staffing shortages continue increasing

Many nursing homes across the United States have experienced staffing shortages for a long time. However, the problem has significantly worsened in the past few years. Not having enough personnel can lead to harm to residents. Although not having enough nurses, physical therapy, or occupational therapy personnel can significantly impact the level of care at various facilities, the area that appears to matter most is insufficient numbers of certified nurse assistants (CNAs).

CNAs are considered the backbone of most nursing homes because they are the ones who do the bulk of the work, lifting and moving patients and attending to their daily needs. The problem is that traditionally, CNAs have been underpaid, so many shy away from this type of work. The result is that nursing home residents are left to their own devices, with many falling out of bed and experiencing bruises, broken bones and more.

Signs of nursing home abuse

Often, elderly nursing home residents are either afraid to speak up or don’t know how to tell their loved ones that they aren’t being cared for properly, resulting in nursing home abuse or neglect. Many facilities try to cover up understaffing by being attentive when relatives visit residents.

It’s up to relatives of nursing home residents to remain vigilant about their loved one’s care. Look for signs such as unexplained bruises, poor hygiene, and similar problems. If you see one or more signs, you will want to speak out.