Nursing home abuse is a pressing concern that demands immediate attention. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection reports that around 1 in 10 older adults experience abuse, with nursing home residents being especially vulnerable. Understaffing is a primary factor contributing to nursing home abuse, as it leads to compromised care and an increased risk of abuse. The following are the major causes contributing to nursing home abuse and its growing prevalence.


1. Overworked Staff Members


When nursing homes are understaffed, staff members who are present shoulder additional responsibilities. This includes working longer hours with fewer breaks, leading to burnout and fatigue. Overworked staff members become stressed and frustrated and may unintentionally mistreat residents or overlook signs of abuse.


2. Lack of Supervision


Understaffing results in fewer supervisors overseeing resident care. This lack of accountability increases the likelihood of abusive behavior going unnoticed and unpunished. Inadequate supervision may also embolden staff to mistreat residents, knowing their actions will not be addressed.


3. Decreased Quality of Care


Insufficient staff leads to compromised care quality, affecting resident well-being. Due to time constraints, this includes neglect, abuse, and limited assistance with daily tasks like eating and bathing. As a result, residents may be left unattended for extended periods and lack essential medical attention.


4. High Turnover Rates


Understaffing can also cause high turnover rates among staff members. Employees who are overworked and stressed might become disillusioned with their jobs and seek employment elsewhere. This situation creates a continuous flow of new, potentially inadequately trained or supervised employees, increasing the risk of abuse. Moreover, high turnover rates make it challenging for residents to establish trusting relationships with their caretakers, which can negatively impact their emotional well-being.


Protect Your Loved One From Neglect and Mistreatment in Nursing Homes


If your loved one resides in a nursing home and you suspect abuse or neglect, you can take several measures to protect them. First and foremost, as a professional attorney, it is important to proactively and vigilantly monitor their care and well-being by visiting frequently, building relationships with staff members, and regularly communicating with their medical professionals.

Secondly, it is crucial to document any signs of neglect or mistreatment and promptly report them to the appropriate authorities. It is advisable to take notes, pictures, and videos and share them with family members, legal professionals, and the nursing home’s governing agency. Additionally, it is essential to keep track of your loved one’s medical treatments or procedures and effectively communicate any concerns with their medical providers.


Get the Legal Support You Need to Fight Nursing Home Abuse.


Understaffing in nursing homes poses a serious problem that can result in nursing home abuse, neglect, and poor quality of care. Workload, lack of training, staff shortages, financial challenges, and staff burnout contribute to understaffing. Properly resourcing and regulating staffing in nursing homes is crucial for ensuring the welfare of vulnerable residents, especially with the increasing elderly population. Addressing nursing home abuse is now more important than ever, and achieving this goal requires ensuring adequate staffing levels.

Nursing home abuse in any form is unacceptable, and families affected by such abuse should be aware of their rights to seek legal recourse. Call Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault Co., L.P.A. today at 419-843-6663 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and discuss your nursing home situation.