It is no secret that nursing home neglect is a critical issue in California. The root of this problem is often understaffing. Patients can easily fall through the cracks when there are not enough nurses or aides. In addition, shortages can lead to serious health problems that make life challenging for the elderly.
Reasons why nursing homes are understaffed
Both avoidable and unavoidable factors can cause understaffing. For example, an avoidable factor could be when the managers or nursing home owners intentionally hire a few nurses or aides. The hiring freeze may be due to the high cost of labor, overtime pay issues or problems with the budget. Unavoidable factors, on the other hand, could be a high turnover rate, an influx of patients, or a shortage of nurses in the area. But no matter the reason, nursing homes must be adequately staffed to provide quality patient care.
Nurses and aides can become overworked when there are not enough staff members. Burnout can lead to mistakes like wrong dosage, prescriptions and treatments. Others may even quit working due to the pressure and stress. Patients left unattended for extended periods can also have accidents or wander off the premises and get lost.
What to do when your loved one is injured
If your loved one has been injured due to nursing home negligence, you can file a lawsuit against the nursing home. These lawsuits could help your loved ones get some compensation they can use to treat their injuries. In addition, they can also help raise awareness about the understaffing problem in nursing homes.
While strict California laws govern nursing homes, they are still not enough to prevent all cases of abuse and neglect. That is why family members must be vigilant about the care their loved ones are receiving. Some signs you should watch out for include bedsores, sudden weight loss, bruises and changes in behavior.