Many older adults happily live independently until something makes it clear that their arrangements aren’t safe. Often, it is a fall that alerts family members to the needs of an older adult. Older adults are at significantly elevated risk for severe injuries and fractures when they fall. It will generally take them longer to recover from significant falls when they do occur.
If your family cannot provide the constant support that a vulnerable family member needs, you might decide to move your loved one into a nursing home facility. That way, they have someone there to care for them all the time.
Unfortunately, if there aren’t enough people working at the nursing home to care for and support all the residents, then your loved one could still wind up falling and getting hurt.
Understaffing is a chronic issue in modern nursing homes
The number of staff members available to respond to resident needs has a direct impact on the quality of life of those living in a nursing home. The sad truth is that most nursing homes are for-profit businesses, and the companies are running the facility will often sacrifice the standard of care they provide to maximize the profit they earn.
Intentionally understaffing to save money is a very common practice. Then, if someone calls in sick, there really won’t be enough support for the residents. When there aren’t workers present to come and help someone get to the bathroom or down to the dining room, they may try to handle these tasks without staff help and could end up falling and getting seriously hurt.
Understaffing is a known risk and arguably a form of negligence
The individuals and businesses that develop and operate nursing homes likely already know about the risk posed by understaffing. Still, they make a conscious choice to put their profit margins ahead of the standard of care that they provide for their residents.