Have you ever walked into a nursing home and simply felt like there was no way all of the residents could possibly be getting proper care?
Maybe you couldn’t find a single staff member, and you ended up standing around in the lobby for 20 minutes before someone noticed you. Maybe you saw residents trying to do things that they clearly couldn’t do on their own, all without assistance. Maybe the staff members you did encounter simply looked frazzled, tired and overworked.
The truth is that understaffing is a major issue in nursing homes. They often just do not have enough people on the clock to meet everyone’s needs. Those who are at work try to help as many residents as they can but having good intentions isn’t enough. They can’t be in two rooms at the same time. They can’t respond to everything properly.
This is why you hear stories of residents pulling the call light cord and not getting a response for a half an hour. It’s often not that the staff is intentionally ignoring them — though that does happen in some cases — but that there is just no one to respond. Even when someone sees the light, they may have four other lights on that they need to get to first. How are they possibly supposed to take care of everything at the same time?
This may not be the fault of the workers, but it still leads to negligence and can lead to both injury and death. It’s very dangerous for nursing home residents and family members must understand the legal options that they have.