It is estimated that over 1 million Americans live in nursing homes. This includes older Americans, people with disabilities, and patients with physical and mental health concerns. These individuals require sufficient care to protect their health and safety. However, all too often, nursing homes are understaffed, and patients don’t get the care they need.
Neglect in Nursing Homes
Without adequate staff in a nursing home, there is great potential for patients to be neglected. Residents may not be fed or given water in a timely manner. They may not receive their medication as required. Those who are bedbound may not receive the repositioning they require every two hours to prevent bedsores. In addition, without the adequate nursing staff at a home, patients may not be receiving the healthcare they require. Without adequate staffing, residents are more likely to roam the halls of the facility looking for help, which can be a dangerous fall risk.
Understaffing leads to corner-cutting and overworked staff. This places residents in extreme danger for serious injury. In addition, overworked staff can become stressed and are more likely to be verbally and physically abusive toward residents. Nursing homes who fail to staff their facilities adequately should be held responsible for any injuries or adverse health conditions that result.
New Federal Legislation
There is a new piece of legislation before Congress aimed at implementing more stringent staffing protocols to protect the safety of residents. The bill calls for increased nurse training, stronger protection for nursing home residents’ rights, and more sufficient staffing levels. The bill seeks to increase the baseline staffing levels required by Medicare and Medicaid. Facilities that fail to meet the new staffing requirements face a $10,000 fine per day or a freeze on payments. They could also face a possible takeover by the government and a termination of their ability to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. These increased safety measures are critical for the well-being of nursing home residents.
Contact a Nursing Home Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or neglected in a nursing home, you may want an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping nursing home residents. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.