Understaffing in nursing homes puts residents at risk. A nursing facility that is not properly staffed may be unable to attend to the needs of their residents. When there is understaffing in nursing homes, nursing home staff members need  to prioritize certain duties over others. This often means that essential tasks are neglected, such as adjusting residents to prevent bed sores, checking up on patients and noting changes in health, monitoring dietary needs, keeping residents clean to prevent infection, and preventing dangerous falls by helping residents move around. As a result, residents may suffer injury, illness, or death.

There may be intentional reasons why the owners or management of a nursing facility will understaff their facility. The owners may be looking to reduce the costs of labor to increase their own personal profits. The facility’s management may skew the numbers in favor of high resident to staff member ratios.  In certain situations, nursing facilities may be having problems finding or hanging onto enough adequately trained nurses and certified nursing assistants who provide all of the care to the nursing home residents. A high turnover rate can result in the over-scheduling of available staff members and cause them to become overwhelmed by their duties.

Nursing homes are required to constantly track their staffing levels, and there are requirements in place regarding appropriate staffing levels that nursing homes are obligated to abide by.  If your family member has suffered injury or death as the result of a nursing home’s negligence, the attorneys at Dworken and Bernstein can determine if understaffing played a contributing role and will work diligently to hold the facility responsible and accountable.    

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