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The Impacts of Understaffed Nursing Homes

Understaffed nursing homes is a large and ever-growing issue in the United States. Those trying to operate under stressful circumstances oftentimes find it difficult to properly diagnose and treat patients to their full capacity. These problems are caused by everything from an aging population to financial struggles. If an elderly individual you know is suffering from an understaffed nursing home, they may be entitled to compensation. Bryant has competitive, California nursing home attorneys ready to fight for the rights of your family.

A Shortage of Nurses in California Causes Chaos

Not having enough staff on duty at a nursing home can have grave consequences for residents. This is a common problem across California and much of the United States of America, creating a wide variety of health problems for many elderly folk.

  • Personalized care – Facilities, when understaffed, are not able to provide adequate personalized care for people. This may be a problem when a large number of patients require drastically different types of care, especially with problems such as mental health concerns ever more present in these facilities. Many nurses additionally report that when their nursing home is understaffed, they miss critical changes in a patient’s condition.
  • Bedsores – Some patients requiring the most amount of care are not able to be turned enough due to a shortage of nurses. Nurses stretched thin are unable to properly meet the needs of immobile elderly patients on a regular basis.
  • Infections and bathroom problems – Understaffed homes additionally struggle to make sure that every individual makes it to the bathroom on time. Unable to properly change clothing, attend to wounds, etc. may render infections and other problems that are life-threatening. 

Why Are Nursing Homes Short Staffed?

Unfortunately, the problem of understaffing nursing homes is only worsening in the United States of America. As demographics shift and the needs of populations change, a complex issue arises between those able to provide care and those needing care. 

  • As the population ages, more people are in need of care. This demographic shift is common in nearly every developed nation on Earth, meaning that the median age in the United States was predicted to rise over time. As more people get older, more people are in need of care from nursing homes.
  • Another common issue is the nursing shortage in the United States. Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the country as there are not enough nurses to fill all of the facilities that need them across the country. In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) predicts that the US will need 1.09 million more registered nurses (RN) by the year 2024. Nursing homes, therefore, try to stretch their existing nurse population instead of hiring new, certified nurses.
  • Medicaid or Medicare-certified nursing homes are not allowed to turn away patients who have a federal healthcare plan. This by itself is not much of a problem, however, as the US government continuously cuts nursing home reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid plans, elderly-care facilities see less money coming in and therefore a lesser ability to properly take care of patients.

Bryant by Your Side in CA

Joel Bryant is here to take care of your legal needs following a case surrounding elder abuse and issues in nursing homes. If you believe that your elderly family member is suffering as a result of an understaffed nursing home, please contact a Riverside nursing home attorney as soon as possible.