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Nursing home staff shortages create dangerous conditions

| Nov 30, 2020 | Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse

Nursing homes carry an enormous burden. They are tasked with caring for those who are perhaps the most vulnerable amongst us: our elderly loved ones. With such a big job, you would think that nursing homes would be the one of the safest places, but the reality is in stark difference. The truth is that many nursing homes are extremely dangerous for their residents. Far too often, unsuspecting men and women who reside in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are subjected to abuse and neglect that is so severe that it can lead to serious injuries and death. Why does this abuse and neglect occur? There are a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at just one of them.

Staffing shortages in Iowa nursing homes

It’s no secret that the pandemic has had an enormous impact on the nursing home field. One pre-existing problem that it has amplified in Iowa is staffing shortages. According to a recent survey, nearly half of nursing homes reported being low on staff. While the dangers imposed by the ongoing health crisis have certainly had an affect on these workers, the truth of the matter is that there’s high turnover amongst nursing home staff. These individuals are often overworked and underpaid, which can have a profound impact on the kind of care your loved one receives.

Given their low pay, long hours, and high demands, nursing home workers often fail to provide residents with the individualized care they need and deserve. This means that residents might be exposed to neglect, such as a lack of repositioning that leads to bedsores which can quickly develop into an even more severe condition. Additionally, these workers often become frustrated given the demands thrust upon them, which can lead them to snap on residents, resulting in abuse.

Holding nursing homes and their staff accountable

It’s certainly sad that nursing homes are facing a tough time and that their workers struggle to make a decent wage while working reasonable hours. However, these shortcomings are no excuse for nursing home abuse and neglect. That’s why these workers and their employers need to be held accountable for any harm they cause to residents. An attorney who is experienced in this area of the law might be able to help with just that.