People place their loved ones in nursing homes to ensure they are given the specialized care their family is not able to provide themselves. Unfortunately, nursing home residents are far too often the victims of abuse and neglect at the hands of their caretakers. It can be hard to grasp why the staff at nursing homes mistreat their residents. Based on previous cases, here are five common reasons commonly cited reasons for nursing home abuse and neglect:
- One of the most commonly cited issues in nursing home abuse and neglect cases is the issue of understaffing. While there are strict legal requirements for maintaining certain staffing levels at nursing homes, many nursing homes do not consistently maintain those levels so they can save money. As a result, nurses, doctors and orderlies on staff are often overworked, handling more residents than they can safely manage. The result is an increased likelihood that patients’ needs may be overlooked, increasing the likelihood of abuse or neglect.
- Underpaid staff
- Related to the understaffing issue, many nursing homes do not pay their staff well. From the perspective of the nursing home’s ownership, this allows them to save money on staffing costs. However, this means that nursing home staff are often making less money than they might make working somewhere else. This can create stress and animosity, which they may take out on defenseless residents in the form of neglect and abuse.
- Lack of training or experience
- Hiring experienced doctors, nurses and other staff can be expensive. So is training inexperienced staff to be better at their jobs. Thus, some penny-pinching nursing homes will hire inexperienced or poorly trained staff to work at their facilities, because they are more willing to accept lower pay than more experienced workers. This makes it more likely that the staff will not know proper procedures for handling patients, and makes it more likely they will mishandle patients in their fumbling attempts to do jobs they do not know how to do.
- Poor management
- Even at the best of times, nursing homes are incredibly complicated businesses to run, and things can go bad fast if they are not managed properly. Unfortunately, many nursing homes do not have skilled management in place to ensure the staff are doing their jobs properly or ensuring that procedures are being adhered to. This makes it more likely that abuse and neglect will go undetected or uncorrected, increasing the risk of harm to residents.
- Lack of accountability
- When people screw up at their jobs, we expect them to be held accountable for their actions. This is especially true when those mistakes endanger the lives of our loved ones. Unfortunately, not every nursing home is consistent about enforcing discipline against staff that fail to adhere to proper procedure with residents. When appropriate measures are not taken to correct problems caused by the staff, those abusive or neglectful staff members are likely to continue with their bad behavior, putting nursing home residents at risk of further abuse and neglect.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness due to the negligent conduct of a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important to get the legal representation you need to remedy the situation and get compensation for the harm you and your loved ones have suffered. The lawyers at Levine and Slavit, PLLC are experienced in representing New York City and Long Island residents in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. To schedule a free consultation, contact our New York City nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at (212) 687-2777 or for our Long Island nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers call (516) 294-8282.