Negligence at a nursing home could be the result of staff burnout, poor training practices or even intentional understaffing to save money. When the businesses that run nursing homes cut corners, the people that live in those facilities and depend on their employees for daily needs are the ones who suffer.
Oftentimes, poor standards of care in nursing homes directly relate to injuries suffered by those living there. Falls are a leading source of injury among older adults, with roughly half of those living in nursing homes falling every year in a manner that requires medical care. How does negligence in a nursing home potentially contribute to the shocking number of residents who fall while paying thousands of dollars each month for support in keeping them safe?
Long delays in employee response
Both understaffing that forces workers to cover too many tasks and burnout that makes them resent the care obligations of residents can lead to workers ignoring requests for assistance from individual residents. They may leave someone waiting for 30 minutes or more when they need to go to the bathroom or fail to help them get dressed so that they can get breakfast in the morning. When employees don’t respond to the needs of residents, they may try to handle matters on their own and could end up falling as a result.
Failures to evaluate residents properly
Falls are largely preventable if residents in a nursing home have the right support, including education about their physical limitations and devices like walkers that can help them manage certain tasks on their own. Nursing homes should evaluate every new resident when they move to the facility and also reevaluate existing residents when they have major medical events or at least once a year. Failing to do so is potentially a form of negligence that could directly contribute to someone falling.
Inadequate cleaning and maintenance
Falls can be as much a result of the facility’s conditions as they are a reflection of someone’s physical limitations. When staff members don’t have the time or motivation to clean up spills and otherwise keep the facilities clean and in good repair, issues like peeling carpet and spilled coffee could directly result in a resident getting hurt.
When nursing home residents or their family members can connect negligence at a facility to a fall that resulted in injuries, it may be possible to pursue a claim seeking compensation for the losses that resulted. Recognizing how negligence puts nursing home residents at risk may benefit those concerned about the standards of care in such facilities.