How Understaffing Impacts Nursing Homes in NJ

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Nursing homes in New Jersey are increasingly facing the widespread problem of understaffing. Simply put, this means the nursing home does not have enough nurses and aides on each shift to provide for each resident’s care needs.  This serious problem has a direct result on the level of care each patient receives. If you suspect that an understaffed nursing home is hurting you or your loved one, you should contact the Sugarman Law office today.

How Staffing Impacts Patient Care

Understaffing in nursing home facilities can have serious consequences on both the staff and patients. Following are some of the most common impacts understaffing can have on a nursing home:

  • Forced overtime: Without an appropriate level of staffing, increased pressure is put on the existing employees. Exhaustion and too much overtime can quickly lead to mistakes and errors.
  • Unintentional neglect of immobile patients: patients who have limited mobility are completely dependent on their caregivers. In many cases, it takes at least two trained staff members to help roll patients over, move them from one area to another or help them into a wheelchair. Staffing issues can make it impossible for an immobile patient’s needs to be met.
  • Overall neglect of patient’s needs: Most patients in nursing homes are vulnerable and dependent on care providers. Understaffing may result in a significant decrease in the time spent devoted to each patient’s grooming, feeding and medication needs. Sadly, when these needs go unmet, patients can suffer serious complications including death.
  • Potential abuse: The stress placed on caregivers due to understaffing can lead to abusive situations for the elderly. Staff members may become more impatient, forceful and aggressive due to the work environment.

Proposed Solutions to Nursing Home Understaffing

Lisa Henderson, the representative for New Hampshire’s non-profit nursing homes, explained how “all administrators and staff are doing the best they can in challenging circumstances.” State statutes have been proposed that would force nursing homes to keep a minimum level of personnel to meet the needs of each patient, but there is still a lack of clear guidelines on the appropriate number of caregivers that should be required. Advocates have also suggested that raising the minimum wage for licensed nursing assistance by increasing Medicaid reimbursement could help enable nursing homes to staff more employees. This suggestion, many argue, would help reduce the amount of nursing assistants in the state who relocate elsewhere for higher wages.

Contact a Somerville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today

Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home negligence or abuse in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Sugarman Law represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Clifton, Trenton, Camden, Passaic, Union City, Bayonne, East Orange, Vineland, New Brunswick, Hoboken. Call (866) 657-5660 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 80 E Main St, Somerville, NJ 08876, as well as offices in Marlton, NJ.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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