According to a recent article in the National Law Review, about 75% of skilled nursing facilities are significantly understaffed. Illinois nursing homes are no exception. In fact, understaffing at Illinois nursing homes is considered among the worst in the country. New laws have been passed to try to correct this problem, and additional money made available so such facilities can hire more workers. However, if you have loved ones living in Illinois nursing homes, are they at risk?
Problems Caused by Understaffing
One of the first and most obvious problems is that residents will not get the care they need.
Another problem is that the staff may begin inappropriately medicating patients to make them more submissive.
The nursing home staff themselves may become exhausted, overworked, and stressed out due to lack of support.
Finally, hiring the right number of staff members may become more difficult as people realize they will not have the backup and support needed.
The Direct Effect on Patients and Their Families
Understaffing at Illinois nursing homes may lead to abuse and neglect.
- Patients may not receive medicines and treatments on time – or at all. Medical conditions may worsen and become difficult or impossible to control.
- Bedfast patients may not be turned as often as they should. These patients may develop life-threatening and painful bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers.
- Bathing and personal care may suffer.
- Patients who need help feeding may suffer dehydration and malnutrition when no one is available to help feed them.
- Nursing home personnel may also begin using physical restraints, which can cause emotional trauma.
- Families may suffer guilt and anguish over the inadequate care their loved ones receive.
Is your loved one’s nursing home fully staffed?
Under new Illinois laws, nursing home owners who fail to remain staffed up only face stiff fines, penalties, and other legal action.
Attorney Osvaldo Rodriguez has more than 20 years’ experience helping people who have suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect. Schedule a free initial consultation or ask a question by calling us at 708-716-3441 or by completing the Contact form on our website.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County, and Will County.