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Changes in a nursing home’s environment could signal trouble

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2019 | Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

You placed a loved one in a nursing home after debating for a period of time over the kind of facility you wanted for them. You settled on one with around-the-clock care, a cafeteria that would serve them at any time if they missed a meal, a low patient-to-staff ratio, and that seemed warm and inviting when you went there.

That was before. Now, several months later, you’ve noticed some changes. The once-smiling nursing staff looks exhausted. You’ve noticed that some familiar faces have gone missing, and there are more residents sitting in hallways and rooms with little or no interaction with the staff. After asking about the situation, one nurse said that there had been some staff members let go, and they were going through hiring to get more in soon.

Know the signs of changes in a nursing home, so you can keep an eye out for abuse or neglect

When nursing homes find themselves struggling with their staff, one of the problems is that they may rush to find new people to work there. It’s essential that all potential employees go through background checks, so that patients and their families know that they are safe.

In the meantime, there is also a higher risk of errors. With fewer staff members to take care of patients, there is less time to spend with each person. It’s the sad reality that some nurses or aids may cut corners to save time, especially when they’re overworked. This can mean that some patients go without the support or care they need, at least some of the time.

On top of these problems, there’s also a risk that patients will be able to wander. With fewer staff members, it means that the staff will be solely focused on patients with immediate needs. This leaves openings for patients to wander off, especially if they are able to open doors or enter codes to enter or exit the facility on their own.

If you notice that the nursing home has gone through changes lately, don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that it won’t get better. However, it is imperative that you check on your loved one regularly and make sure they’re receiving adequate care. If not, you should speak with the director about the negligence taking place and be ready to reach out for assistance from advocates and attorneys in McHenry so your loved one receives support.