When you choose a nursing home for your loved one, your primary concern may be that your loved one is safe and well cared for. One aspect of proper care is ensuring the nursing home is adequately staffed. Staffing issues can lead to nursing home abuse and neglect.
Staffing and nursing home neglect
The American Health Care Association conducted a survey in September on staffing issues in U.S. nursing homes. It found that 86% of nursing homes and 77% of assisted living facilities surveyed stated that staffing issues had become more problematic over the previous three months.
Inadequate staffing and poor work ethics can lead to nursing home neglect. This is especially true when a facility does not have enough workers, leaving those who stay to take on more and more duties, eventually leading to worker burn-out. When a nursing home is adequately staffed there are fewer medication errors and patients live longer.
What to do if you suspect nursing home neglect
If you suspect a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, there are steps you can take to address the situation. First, keep a written record of signs you see that indicated neglect such as a lack of hygiene, dehydration, malnourishment and bedsores. You can even take photos of your loved one’s condition. This can help if you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
Second, you can contact the Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsman. This is the government official that serves as a point person between nursing homes and residents. The ombudsman is responsible for addressing suspected nursing home abuse and neglect. You can also call the police or Adult Protective Services. Finally, you can pursue a lawsuit against the workers and facility based on negligence. Your loved one has the right to receive safe and adequate care if they are in a nursing home. Anything less is unacceptable.