Nursing home abuse is a major problem in the United States. Many people who are in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities face abuse from those who are meant to be caring for them.
Why is it such a prevalent issue? There are several theories, but what may be leading to most abuse are three simple things:
- Improper training
When a nursing home has staff members with improper training, doesn’t have enough workers or has care professionals who are burnt out or stressed out, they’re much more likely to see cases of nursing home abuse.
Understaffing in nursing homes
Understaffing is a problem in many nursing homes. Nursing homes are required to provide 24-hour services as required by law, but they may not have the right skilled workers on staff 24-hours a day. This can lead to people getting hurt or abused as others attempt to cover aspects of care that they are not trained for. It may also lead to trouble if one of those skilled workers is working too much, opening them up to a risk of making mistakes due to fatigue or exhaustion.
Improper training in nursing homes
Improper training is another big issue. When nursing home staff members aren’t trained well or at all, they may lift patients incorrectly, not provide essential services correctly or end up causing harm even when none was intended. Nursing home staff members who aren’t trained correctly may end up neglecting their patients or mistreating them.
Burnout among nursing home staff members
Burnout is a third issue. When there are staffing shortages, some workers will need to come in more regularly than usual. They may have high patient loads and need to work regularly. This can lead to burnout, which may result in anger, fatigue or other issues that lead to neglect or abuse.
If your loved one may be a victim of abuse, make sure you gather evidence to make your case. Investigate staffing issues, collect medical records and build your case. This may help you get the compensation needed to support your loved one’s appropriate care.