Understaffing in Illinois Nursing Homes May Have Contributed to COVID-19 Deaths

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois nursing homes faced serious understaffing problems. Meeting the duty of care they owed their residents was already challenging. However, the current public health emergency has pushed many long-term care and residential facilities to the limit and beyond. In fact, understaffing in Illinois nursing homes may have added to the COVID-19 death rate among nursing home residents and staff.

General Understaffing Consequences

Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to care for their residents. Understaffed homes generally cannot provide care, which can lead to:

  • Under medicating patients;
  • Overmedicating patients, especially with psychotropic drugs;
  • Failing to monitor residents’ conditions;
  • Failing to notice or address abuse of patients;
  • Neglecting daily care; and
  • Exhausted or stressed out workers.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regulates and monitors facilities, sometimes citing homes for understaffing in Illinois nursing homes.

COVID-19 Statistics in Illinois Nursing Homes

According to the IDPH, more than 3,600 residents of long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 as of June 19, 2020. This number accounts for roughly 55% of all Illinois COVID-19 deaths. Understaffing in Illinois nursing homes certainly is not helping the situation.

At a time like this, frail nursing home residents require more care and attention, not less. But they are unlikely to get the care they need when there just are not enough staff to go around. To make matters worse, visits from friends and family have been prohibited or restricted at times. Accordingly, there are fewer people to notice the neglect or outright abuse that could precede a death, whether it is a COVID-19 death or not.

Talk to an Attorney Who Understands How Understaffing in Illinois Nursing Homes Hurts

Nursing homes have a duty to care for their residents, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. When they fail to provide that care, you may be entitled to compensation for their neglect.

At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with nursing home neglect and abuse. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer who has dedicated his career to assisting people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website. 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.

Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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