Many U.S. nursing homes have serious quality problems, in part, because of inadequate staffing levels. By not providing the appropriate amount of staff, residents are at a higher risk of death, infections, complications, falls, failure-to-rescue rates and admission to the hospital.
New federal data reveals that nursing homes have for years fudged their numbers when reporting how many staff they have on hand to care for their residents.
Daily payroll records analyzed by Kaiser Health News tell the tale of nursing homes gaming the system by self-reporting more staff on hand to the government, sometimes translating into a higher score on the government’s five star rating program many use to find reliable nursing homes.
Results of the analysis show particularly thin staffing in nursing homes during the weekend, leading one resident to say “it’s almost like a ghost town”.
A spokesman for the American Health Care Association chalks up the poorly staffed weekends to the fact there are fewer programs during the weekend and some residents have family members to assist them. However, nothing can replace trained nursing home staff when residents need help.
Without adequate staffing every day of the week, seniors in pain can go without medication, meals may not get delivered, essential medical tasks such as repositioning patients to prevent bedsores are overlooked – all of which could lead to avoidable hospitalizations for vulnerable residents.
The exaggerated claims by nursing homes across the country come as no surprise to many families who have had loved ones suffer an injury due to negligence or abuse in a nursing home. A simple lack of enough caregivers at any given time can spell real trouble for elderly residents who depend on nursing homes to deliver the care they need, when they need it.
Contact a Des Moines Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
If your family member has been injured or abused in an Iowa nursing home, contact Des Moines nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers of John T. Hemminger Law for help today.
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