A nursing home should be a place where a Cook County resident may live knowing that their medical and personal care will be attended to by competent medical professionals and facility staff. Individuals who choose to move into nursing homes often do so because they can no longer manage their own needs and require assistance from others to attend to their day-to-day requirements. Maintaining sufficient staff is presumably necessary for a nursing home to ensure that all of its residents are provided with adequate care.
A recent study undertaken by the Kaiser Family Foundation found, though, that many American nursing homes are significantly understaffed. The Kaiser Family Foundation investigated payroll reports of thousands of nursing homes and found that a significant number had misreported staffing numbers. In particular, nursing home staff numbers seemed to plummet over weekends, leaving nursing home residents under the care of too few individuals.
Understaffing is a major problem for facilities that are tasked with keeping individuals in need safe and provided for. When a facility fails to provide its residents with enough personnel those residents may fail to get the medical care they require or the services they need to stay healthy. Understaffing may cause individuals to miss treatments, medications and other vital services that are necessary for their continued life.
No nursing home resident should suffer due to understaffing at their facility. In extreme cases, understaffing can lead to significant lapses in care and life-threatening harm to those who need the help of nursing homes just to survive. Families that have suffered due to nursing home negligence and understaffing may wish to investigate their rights with lawyers who are committed to serving this vulnerable population.