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The link between nursing home understaffing and resident falls

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Blog, Nursing Home Negligence |

Understaffing in nursing homes impacts the safety and well-being of residents. Insufficient staffing levels mean fewer caregivers available to assist residents with mobility. This increases the likelihood of falls and related injuries.

Several factors contribute to this problem, highlighting the need for improved staffing standards to protect vulnerable residents.

Limited supervision and assistance

A notable consequence of understaffing in nursing homes is a lack of supervision and assistance for residents. With fewer staff members to monitor residents, residents become more susceptible to falls. Lack of timely intervention and support increases the risk of accidents. This is particularly true for residents with mobility issues or cognitive impairments.

Delayed response to call lights

Understaffed nursing homes often struggle to respond to residents’ needs, including requests for help via call lights. When residents experience a fall or need help, delayed response times due to staffing shortages can exacerbate the situation. Residents may attempt to move on their own, leading to falls or injuries while waiting for help. Improving staffing levels can reduce response times. It can also ensure residents receive timely help to prevent falls and accidents.

Inadequate monitoring and safety measures

Effective fall prevention in nursing homes relies on regular monitoring and safety measures. However, understaffing compromises the ability of nursing homes to conduct assessments and implement appropriate interventions to prevent falls.

The American Health Care Association reports that 94% of nursing homes do not have enough workers on staff. Addressing this issue requires concerted efforts from policymakers, regulators and nursing home administrators to improve staffing levels and prioritize resident safety.

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