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The effects of understaffing in nursing homes

When concerns are raised about the state of nursing homes, they are usually centered on systematic abuse and neglect. These concerns and horror stories often paint dramatized pictures of inherently mean and spiteful nursing home employees that try and make their patients' lives a living nightmare.

While this image of nursing home carers might portray a small minority, luckily it is very rarely the reality. Most carers in nursing homes are simply doing the best that they can given the circumstances that they find themselves in. However, this does not mean that the conditions of the nursing home are adequate, or that the nursing home management are not liable for causing nursing home neglect. This is often due to nursing home understaffing.

What are the consequences of understaffing in nursing homes?

It is estimated that currently, over 90 percent of nursing homes are understaffed. This of course is a huge problem, and it creates very broad, negative effects for all patients. Although all carers may have the best intentions for their patients, when they have too many patients to care for, it can be impossible for them to give them all the care that they require. This can lead to poor hygiene, bedsores, dehydration, infections and even mental issues such as depression.

Taking action on behalf of your loved one

Many nursing homes are understaffed purely to reduce costs and increase profits. Given that many patients suffer from understaffing, this is unacceptable. If you believe that a loved one is suffering due to understaffing, it is vital that you take action so that justice can be done.

Source: Nursing Home Abuse Guide, "Nursing Home Understaffing," accessed March 30, 2018

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