New York residents who must rely on nursing homes to help care for their elderly family members should be able to trust that the care provided will be consistent and high-quality. Sadly, this is not always the case and a lack of sufficient staffing may well be a contributing factor to this reality.
Nursing home neglect may take two forms – active or passive. Active neglect involves the knowing dismissal of caring for a person’s needs. Passive neglect, on the other hand, may involve the lack of caring for those needs but without consciously intending to do so. A nursing home that does not have enough nurses or aides on staff may not be able to provide every resident with the level of care they deserve.
Baths may not be given regularly, clothing may not be changed frequently enough and food or water may not even be provided at regular intervals. These are just some examples of problems that may occur in the absence of enough staff. A report from the Kaiser Health News and The New York Times uncovered that 1,400 facilities nationwide do not have enough staff coverage to meet the requirements set out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
To make matters worse, inappropriate staffing at nursing homes has been an identified problem for decades and even contributed to the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. The fact that it remains an ongoing problem highlights the importance of seeking help from an attorney if family members are concerned about the safety of their loved ones.