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How nursing home understaffing impacts quality of care

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2021 | Nursing Home Negligence |

Moving a parent into a Maryland nursing home may take an emotional toll on the entire family. However, it may help put your mind at ease to know that your parent’s nursing home has enough staff members on hand to provide help to your mother or father when he or she needs it.

According to PBS, many nursing homes across Maryland and the United States fail to maintain adequate staff levels. When there are not enough staff members available to care for residents, the quality of care those residents receive suffers considerably.

The severity of the understaffing problem

How common is nursing home understaffing? A study of payroll and other records from about 14,000 American nursing homes showed that the majority of them were overstating how many staff members they had on-site at a given time to the government. Of the 14,000 nursing home records studied, seven out of every 10 of them overstated how many staff members were actually there. Records also show that the understaffing issue is particularly severe on weekends.

Consequences of the understaffing problem

When your parent’s nursing home does not have enough workers, your parent may not receive the mobility help he or she needs to eat, use the bathroom or bathe. He or she may also attempt to move around or get out of bed without help, which raises the chances of a nursing home fall. There is also a link between understaffing and bedsores, which are skin lesions that may develop when a resident spends too much time in one position.

Before you decide to move your parent into a Maryland nursing home, ask how many staff members they have onsite for each resident. You may also want to ask whether there are notable differences in staffing levels during the week versus over the weekends.