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What factors influence understaffing in nursing homes?

Thu 2 May, 2019 / by / General

A lack of staff is often cited as one of the primary reasons for neglect in nursing home care. When there aren’t enough workers around, residents have a much higher chance of suffering from malnutrition, falling, dehydration and many other injuries or diseases.

While searching for the right place to take your parents to in Illinois, it can be difficult to spot the signs of understaffing at the facility. Maybe you went during a busy day for them, or they’re just a few months away from cutting jobs. Before you choose where your loved ones are staying, you should familiarize yourself with the most common problems that leads to a lack of staffing at nursing homes.

The day of the week

Recent studies indicate that the staff often fluctuates on the weekends. Nursing home employees don’t have the benefit of having a Monday to Friday week that most other workers have, so many of them will try to request the weekend days off since their colleagues often make plans for it.

The needs of the elderly aren’t dependent on the time of week. If the facility doesn’t have enough staff to cover workers for their time off, it could result in serious conflicts between the employees on who gets what days off, and not enough people would be able to help residents around this time. Even if you start visiting your parents on the weekend to look after them, there will be some instances where you have major plans on a Saturday or Sunday, so you need to make sure they are in a place with enough people to cover those days.

Financial difficulties

Since nursing homes require registered nurses and certified nursing assistants, they have high labor costs in addition to what’s needed at the facility to begin with. Arguably the most common way they solve a budget crisis is to fire workers. This leads to many of them taking on too much additional days and overtime to the point where they could suffer exhaustion. The stress that comes from this can place the residents and the workers themselves in harm’s way.

The location can play a large role in determining whether they need budget cuts or not. Nursing homes in rural areas near cities like Peoria can struggle to find willing workers or keep them on board long enough.

If you notice that the staff doesn’t immediately respond to your parents’ needs during your visit or don’t see a lot in the facility to begin with, your loved ones could suffer from a lack of assistance. In the event this happens, contact an attorney that specializes in nursing home injuries to help you file a claim against the facility.