Nurses, nursing assistants, and other staff members play a key role in ensuring nursing home residents receive the care and support they need to lead a high quality of life and remain as healthy as possible. When there is a shortage of staff or inadequately trained staff, nursing homes cannot provide the high level of care needed by residents. Residents at understaffed facilities are at an increased risk of injury, illness, and death due to mistakes, neglect, and even abuse.
If your loved one suffered physical, psychological, or financial injuries due to inadequate staffing at a Louisville nursing facility, you may be able to take legal action against the owner and operator of the home. A Louisville nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at The Powell Law Firm, PLLC can help you understand your legal options and file for compensation to pay medical bills and other losses. Give us a call: 502-242-7000.
What does the law say about nursing home staffing requirements in Kentucky?
Kentucky law does not dictate a minimum number of care staff per facility or care hours each individual resident must receive. Instead, the law only requires that each facility has “adequate personnel to meet the needs of the patients” around the clock. This includes personal care attendants, nurses, and supervisory staff. The law also requires a charge nurse or other responsible staff member be present and awake 24 hours a day.
Why are so many Louisville nursing homes understaffed?
Inadequate staffing at nursing homes is a nationwide epidemic, and it affects many facilities in Louisville as well. Understaffing occurs for several reasons:
- Labor costs are high and are often the first cut when the budget is tight
- Many have a hard time recruiting qualified staff
- The job is difficult and stressful, so staff retention is a concern
- Many hire few registered nurses and certified nursing assistants, relying on less-qualified staff
Some of these factors are easier to remedy than others, but the bottom line is that many facilities continue to have inadequate staffing. And your aging loved one may suffer neglect or abuse because of it.
How does inadequate staffing affect seniors in a Louisville nursing facility?
Louisville nursing home abuse can be intentional or unintentional. Inadequate staffing raises the risk of both types of abuse. Stressed, frustrated, and overworked staff members are more likely to lose their temper and use force with a resident. At the same time, they are also more likely to make mistakes.
In some cases, there are simply too few staff members to ensure everything gets done. This can quickly lead to neglect and subsequent serious health concerns. Feeding, cleaning, and toilet duties are often first to go.
Patients may miss meals and medications, and some may fall trying to walk to the toilet or the dining hall alone. They are more likely to suffer from bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, infections, and other concerns caused by neglect. Their quality of life decreases dramatically. For this reason, it is imperative that you keep a close eye on your loved one and her health.
How can a lawyer help my aging family member recover from nursing home neglect?
Our Louisville nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can help you hold the facility staff and administration liable for their actions. If your loved one suffered physical, psychological, and/or financial damages because of an issue with nursing home staffing, you can hold the facility financially responsible. This allows you to ensure your loved one gets the care she needs to recover from her ordeal as fully as possible.
In some cases, inadequate staffing may not be the obvious cause of neglect. Some facilities will even add shifts during announced evaluation periods, but remain chronically understaffed the remainder of the year. We can investigate why residents are not receiving the care they need, and get to the bottom of the issue.
Even if you are not certain there is a problem, we can evaluate your senior’s situation and determine if you have reason to be concerned. No matter your concern, we can help you understand your legal options to protect your loved one in a Louisville nursing home.
How can I contact a Louisville nursing home abuse attorney?
If you believe your loved one is suffering due to a nursing facility’s inadequate staffing, call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment. The Powell Group PLLC’s knowledgeable nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer can help you understand the legal options available to protect your family member from the dangers of abuse.
And we do not charge you unless and until you win a settlement. This ensures you are able to focus on getting your loved one into a better home without worrying about how you will pay us. Give us a call today: 502-242-7000.