You place a lot of trust in the staff at the nursing home caring for your loved one. After all, you have entrusted them with the health and safety of one of the people you care about most. Many families assume that a nursing home facility will provide excellent care, and in many cases that is what happens.
However, issues can arise in even the best of nursing homes that can leave residents in danger. Despite your efforts to find a safe nursing home, practices and policies can change without warning, leaving your loved one at increased risk of injury.
Understaffing is one such issue. Most nursing home facilities are for-profit institutions. The business model seeks to maximize profits, rather than focus on patient care. The end result can be a dangerous situation for your loved one. Understaffing can lead to serious neglect, which can cause all kinds of potential issues, from preventable injuries to bed sores in patients with limited mobility.
Inadequate staffing may leave your loved one without the help they need
One of the reasons you have a loved one in a nursing home facility is likely because you could not provide the hands-on care they needed 24 hours a day. Older adults with mobility issues or who suffer from declining mental health, including dementia, often need careful monitoring and regular assistance.
Staff may need to help when your loved one gets dressed or even if they want to go to the bathroom. Sadly, when there isn't adequate staffing at a nursing home, your loved one may feel like they have no choice but to undertake a potentially dangerous task without help. This can lead to a fall, which could have catastrophic consequences.
Falls in a nursing home can endanger your loved one
The older someone becomes, the more at risk they may be for slip-and-fall incidents. People have issues with their joints as they age, as well as declining strength. Combine that with lower bone density, and you have the perfect recipe for a severe, possibly even fatal, injury. Roughly one in three adults over the age of 65 is at risk for a fall in any year. The older someone becomes, the greater the risk for severe injuries as a result of that fall.
The inability to move, combined with extreme pain and the risk of infection can have a dire impact on the health and well-being of your loved one. If your loved one has experienced a serious injury as the result of a slip-and-fall in a nursing home, it may have been due to neglect on the part of the nursing home. You should look into the situation more carefully and explore your options for holding the facility accountable for that neglect.