Injuries inside America’s nursing homes, assisted living facilities and memory care units are increasing, reports the National Center on Elder Abuse. Unfortunately, as Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement levels are cut to an all-time low, facilities become short-staffed. This lack of staffing causes preventable injuries to our most vulnerable senior citizens.
Why Does Money Matter in Nursing Home Abuse?
Money Leads to Understaffing Which Causes Nursing Home Injuries
When we imagine nursing home abuse, we conjure up images of a vindictive aide. Power hungry and controlling, this rogue nurse is on the hunt for vulnerable victims to injure and abuse. In reality, this rarely happens.
Most nursing home injuries are due to neglect rather than intentional abuse.
Most aides and nurses are good natured, albeit overworked. Understaffing is the cause of most problems in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The decision to understaff a nursing home or assisted living facility is not accidental. It is a matter of dollars and sense.
Remember the fancy lobby you saw when you were shopping for nursing homes for Mom? That granite countertop probably cost $5,000. The chandelier may cost another $7,500. All this is placed there so you think, “Man, I’d live here.”
The cosmetic fix-ups pale in comparison to the highest cost to the facility: staffing. The average nurse salary in a nursing home is $67,300. If a nursing home can cut staff but make the facility look fancy, the hidden danger of understaffing remains concealed.
So Let’s Fix the Problem of America’s Increasing Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect, Right?
If we recognize the problem, why not fix it? It’s not that easy. There is considerable pushback from the nursing home industry to protect their profit margin. As a result, regulators continue to go easy on mandatory minimum staff requirements.
Unfortunately, states continue to underregulate long term care facilities. As a result, state minimum staffing standards are at rock bottom. Glaringly, state minimum staffing requirements do not consider the resident’s acuity level. In other words, if a nursing home has lots of demented residents prone to injury, they must increase their staff numbers. State minimums are not enough to adequately care for high acuity, high need residents.
If you want to contact your local representatives to demand higher nursing home staffing requirements, click here to get the name and contact information of your government officials.
Common Nursing Home Abuse Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Weight Loss
- Wrongful Death
Floridians Standing Up to Elder Abuse & Neglect
The only way to stop the cycle of negligence inside Florida facilities is to do something about it.
If your family member or friend suffered a serious injury while in the care of a nursing home or assisted living, report the abuse to the State of Florida Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. This will begin a state investigation into the incident.
Once you’ve reported the negligent facility, contact our Florida nursing home abuse law firm for a free case consultation. The call is free and we only get paid if you make a financial recovery.
Stand up for the vulnerable and demand Senior Justice.
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