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How common are nursing home staffing shortages?

Nursing homes have a variety of different staff members. For instance, there may be administrative staff and dietary staff or workers in the kitchen. The nursing home may have a janitorial staff or maintenance workers. They’re also going to have direct caregivers and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

Unfortunately, studies have found that the vast majority of nursing homes have significant staffing shortages. One study claims that this is true in 94% of nursing homes in the United States. This is a huge number, showing that it is more likely than not that there is improper staffing in your loved one’s nursing home.

Why are these shortages a problem?

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should be concerned about these staffing shortages because they can lead to all manner of serious issues. For instance, slip-and-fall accidents may be more likely. Nursing home residents can get neglected because there aren’t enough staff members to take care of them or provide proper assistance, leading to injuries, malnutrition, dehydration and more.

Additionally, those who are on staff are likely to be burned out and highly stressed. They may feel like they are being exploited by the company, being forced to work significant hours for low pay. This can sometimes lead to financial abuse, emotional abuse or even physical abuse of the residents. Having inadequate staff members creates a stressful situation for all involved. 

What should you do?

Do you believe that your loved one may have been abused or neglected in some manner while living in a nursing home? Whether or not staffing issues were part of the reason for this, be sure you know what legal steps you can take.