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Understaffing at Nursing Homes Results in Decreased Care of Residents

The Omicron strain of Covid 19 is sweeping through our nursing homes. More than 40,000 nursing home residents tested positive for Covid-19 last week as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and almost 70,000 cases of Covid-19 were reported by nursing home staff members during the first week of January. Reportedly, 87% of residents and 84% of staff are fully vaccinated, however, only 30% of staff have received the booster shot.  Although cases are starting to lessen, the burden placed on both staff and residents is evident.

Nursing home staff are seeing a larger workload than ever before. With multiple colleagues out sick, the certified nursing assistants, or CNA’s, are taking on the work of multiple people in one shift. Typically, the ratio of staff to residents during the day shift is one staff member to every 8 residents. However, there have been reports of one staff member being responsible for as many as 50 residents at a time.

The lack of staffing has forced many nursing homes to stop taking on new residents or to shut down completely. Not only are the nursing homes affected, but hospitals have also seen an increase in wait times between patients looking to get discharged to a nursing home, sometimes forcing family members to have to be the sole caretaker of their relative.

Our nursing home residents are suffering from the lack of staff present. Many residents report waiting extended periods of time between changes, a lack of schedule for meals, and a decrease in the quality of care received in general. This lack of care for residents could result in:

  • Bedsores – bedsores happen because of the lack of movement of bedridden people. When someone is sitting too long in one position, they could develop sores that could cause an infection in their bones or joints.
  • Rash – rashes are common when residents are not being changed in a timely manner. Although most rashes are not deadly, research shows that residents who are not being changed often enough feel a loss of humility and could start to show signs of depression.
  • Malnutrition – malnutrition happens when residents are not being fed on a proper schedule or are not being fed the proper macro and micronutrients. When staffing is low, mealtimes are increased. In the worst cases, residents may even be forgotten about.
  • Permanent damage after a fall – falls happen in every nursing home. Although it is not uncommon, a lack of staffing could mean that a resident who has fallen is not tended to immediately, which could result in permanent damages.

Our relatives are being mistreated due to understaffing. In some cases, our family members are losing their sense of humility, in the most extreme cases, our loved ones are suffering immensely by being neglected with regard to food, movement, and emergencies. If your loved one has recently been injured or worse due to understaffing at their nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. know how to navigate the nursing home legal process and will fight for your right to fair compensation. Contact a member of the Spiros Law, P.C. staff at (815) 929-9292 today to set up your free consultation.