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Nursing home staffing shortages endangers residents

NewsNursing Home Neglect   June 30, 2017

One common cause of nursing home abuse is neglect. Many nursing homes in Ohio that have understaffing problems are unable to provide adequate care for their residents. It is a major misconception that many causes of nursing home abuse are from staff who refuse to care for their patients properly so they can live and function normally. However, it can also occur when nursing homes have high turnover rates because of understaffing issues.

Many nursing home caregivers find themselves working under impossible conditions. They often have to care for a higher number of residents during their shifts. They also work longer hours so they can fulfill their job duties. Because the nursing homes they work for are unable to keep the right staff to patient ratios, many residents do not get the care and treatment they require. It is not uncommon for nursing home staff to overlook, forget about and neglect their patients.

A recent analysis of the issue brought to light some disturbing nursing home care problems. Low nursing home staff levels increase the following health and safety concerns for nursing home residents:

  •        Urinary tract infections
  •        Fall occurrences
  •        Bedsores
  •        Poor hygiene
  •        Increased injuries
  •        Poor nutrition
  •        Lack of medical care and emergency treatment

Neglected residents often go unnoticed until their family members and loved ones notice the signs of abuse. Until nursing homes can provide the right level of staff and number of qualified and trained caregivers, nurses and other professionals, many residents will continue to suffer from nursing home negligence. Nursing homes that have more staff are in a better position to provide the residents with the quality and standard of care and supervision they deserve.

Not all nursing homes are bad or incapable of maintaining proper nurse/caregiver to patient ratios. Anyone who has a loved one in a nursing home should keep an eye on their family member and research their home’s staffing processes and levels to ensure their safety.

Source:, “Ohio nursing homes’ low staffing called a ‘crisis,’ puts residents at risk: A Critical Choice,” John Caniglia and Jo Ellen Corrigan, June 21, 2017