Understaffing in Nursing Homes

Caring for an elder relative can be an exhausting and emotional situation. At some point, we have to ask professionals to step in. A qualified nursing facility can help provide all the care and attention needed for our elderly family members, but sometimes things can go wrong.

An understaffed nursing home cannot safely provide for its residents. Elder neglect and abuse are serious problems in this country, especially as the shortage of healthcare workers gets worse. Inadequate nursing staff can lead to severe injuries for your already vulnerable family member. At Curcio & Casciato, our dedicated Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys can help you and your family. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can help you explore your legal options if you believe a family member has suffered from nursing home understaffing. Call us today for a free consultation at (312) 321-1111.

understaffing in nursing homes chicago

Staffing Problems in Assisted Living Facilities

According to a recent study, most U.S. nursing homes (87%) are moderately to highly understaffed. But why are nursing homes understaffed? The answer is a complicated one. Nurses and certified nursing assistants are trained to provide quality care to older adults. Becoming a registered nurse (RN), a certified nursing assistant (CNA), or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) takes time and dedication. Long hours and poor benefits will cause nursing home staff members to pursue better jobs elsewhere. These staffing issues can lead to severe consequences in long-term care facilities.

Consequences of Understaffing in Chicago Nursing Homes

When a nursing home facility is understaffed, the residents are not the only ones who suffer. Short-staffed facilities often have overworked and overwhelmed employees trying to care for the residents as best they can.

Consequences For Residents and Their Families

In a nursing home, residents rely on properly trained staff to care for their basic needs and well-being. Without the required number of registered nurses on staff, professional medical advice risks being ignored by improperly trained staff members. Understaffed facilities are at risk of significantly more mistakes than properly staffed homes. In severe cases, overworked staff members can also take out their frustration on residents through verbal or physical abuse.

Consequences For Nursing Home Staff

Inadequate staffing can lead to overworked and underpaid staff members. Nursing homes have been found to pad their staffing numbers by reporting administrative staff that don’t interact with nursing home residents. This puts even more of a burden on the staff members and can lead to employee burnout. Overtime pay may be a small perk, but overtime can cause more stress and lead to mistakes.

What is Nursing Home Neglect in Illinois?

Nursing home residents are often completely dependent on caregivers. A nursing home resident relies on competent staff members for their emotional, medical, and physical well-being. When these needs aren’t met, the residents and their families suffer.

Emotional and mental health are just as important as physical health. Understaffed facilities cannot dedicate the care and attention that every resident needs. A nursing home facility can be a lonely place, and this feeling is worsened when caregivers can’t give every resident what they need.

Staff members can also prevent residents from interacting with each other, leading to emotional or social neglect. Patients with mobility issues depend on wheelchairs, canes, or walkers to get around in the facility. This is one of the complications of immobility. Overworked staff members can isolate residents by not giving them what they need to be mobile.

Often, nursing homes severely overmedicate nursing home residents in order to punish them or “keep them quiet.” This is a form of nursing home abuse that our Chicago unreasonable restraint lawyers take very seriously.

When nursing home facilities are understaffed, resident issues can slip through the cracks, so to speak. Vulnerable residents who have existing health problems may not get the attention they need. Patients with severe mobility issues are at a higher risk of bedsores, so they need to be moved regularly.

Our Chicago nursing home bedsores attorneys can help if your loved one suffered injuries due to nursing home abuse. 

The same can be said for untreated urinary tract infections in nursing homes. Our Chicago nursing home UTI lawyer can handle this delicate situation for your loved one.

If your loved one recently received a MRSA diagnosis, this may very well be linked to nursing home neglect. Contact our Chicago MRSA lawyer for more information. 

If the Chicago nursing home doesn’t treat active infections, your loved one can easily receive a sepsis diagnosis, which should be treated carefully. If you suspect nursing home abuse and your loved one has or was septic, contact our Chicago nursing home sepsis attorneys

If your loved one was diagnosed with a preventable infection, contact our Chicago nursing home infection lawyer for help. 

Poorly trained staff may not understand the importance of administering medications at regular intervals. Medical neglect can also happen when caregivers don’t provide medical care when there are signs of illness or infection.

Our Chicago medication error lawyer can help families file claims for this. 

Physical neglect includes personal hygiene and basic comfort for the residents. Maintaining clean facilities and bathing the residents are important parts of proper care. Failure to change a resident’s clothes after they soil themselves can lead to severe infections and a significant decline in health. Providing the residents with unsafe food and water can also cause significant health problems.

Our Chicago nursing home malnutrition lawyers can help if your loved one isn’t receiving a proper diet in an Illinois nursing home.

Chicago Nursing Home Understaffing Lawyer

Neglect vs. Abuse

Abuse and neglect are very closely linked, but some key differences set them apart. Negligence can be thought of as a passive type of abuse in nursing homes. Lack of adequate care can lead to bedsores and nursing home falls, which can cause major injuries to an elderly relative. The staff may not have pushed your family member down, but they had a hand in the injuries nonetheless.

In most cases, abuse is a more active behavior. Nursing home staff may take out their anger verbally or physically against the resident. Nursing home neglect and abuse can cause major trauma to residents in facilities that are supposed to care for them. If you or a loved one is suffering at the hands of a nursing home employee, a Chicago elderly abuse attorney from Curcio & Casciato can help. Our Chicago 

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Some of the signs of nursing home abuse aren’t as visible as a bruise or a broken bone. Report nursing home neglect as soon as you notice any of the following signs:

  • Bruising
  • Bedsores
  • Burns
  • Poor hygiene
  • Sexually transmitted disease or infection
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sudden changes in mood (more withdrawn, frequent crying episodes)
  • Malnutrition
  • Fear of staff members

Unexplained injuries can be a major red flag when it comes to nursing home residents. This is especially true for the residents who have cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Unfortunately, neglect isn’t always easy to see. If you believe a family member is being neglected by staff members in their care facility, you need the help of an experienced nursing home neglect attorney.

Is Nursing Home Understaffing Illegal in Illinois?

Understaffing may not directly be illegal, but it can definitely lead to crimes like elder abuse and neglect. Nursing homes are responsible for providing adequate care for their elderly residents. Any violation can result in serious consequences.

How a Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Can Help

As a law firm that focuses on personal injury, the nursing home abuse attorneys at Curcio & Casciato are uniquely qualified to pursue nursing home negligence cases. Nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be difficult to prove. A trusted law firm can help you prove your case by establishing liability and proving negligence. We can fight to get the compensation you and your family deserve.

Establishing Liability in Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Cases

In a nursing home neglect case, your Chicago personal injury attorney will determine who is liable for the poor treatment. Nursing home employees and nursing home management are the main focus in these cases. In understaffed nursing homes, the management team is more likely to be responsible than the nursing home workers. The nursing home staff members may do their best to provide quality care. Unfortunately, nursing home owners or management can make poor staffing decisions. This can lead to overworked or poorly trained staff.

Proving Negligence in Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Claims

As with any personal injury claim, you and your legal team must prove the 4 D’s of negligence.

You must establish that there was a duty of care, a breach of that duty due to negligence, an injury caused by the negligence, and damages due to the injury. This can be seen as a domino effect.

When you put an elderly family member in a nursing facility, you pay lots of money every month to make sure they receive quality care. Understaffed nursing homes cannot provide the quality care needed, which is a breach of duty. This can lead to untrained staff members administering incorrect medication or incorrect dosages. Medication errors can cause severe complications and even death.

Pursuing Compensation

Financial compensation won’t change what happened, but it can help end the neglect and help you and your family get justice. At Curcio & Casciato, we pursue the following compensation in nursing home neglect and abuse cases:

  • Medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • And more
understaffing in chicago nursing homes

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Today

Putting a loved one in an assisted living facility can be a difficult decision to make. You and your family members likely spend thousands of dollars per month for care and treatment from a qualified nursing home. If these skilled nursing facilities don’t have adequate staff or comprehensive training, your loved one can be seriously injured. If your loved one was injured in an understaffed facility, let a Chicago elder abuse attorney help. At Curcio & Casciato, our attorneys help those who cannot help themselves.

Contact a Chicago nursing home negligence lawyer today at (312) 321-1111. We offer a free consultation for every client, so we can go over the details of your case with no financial risk to you.