When long-term care facilities are in business to make a profit, they can cut corners to accomplish that goal. One of the areas most likely to be cut is staffing because wages and employee benefits are two of the most significant expenses for any business. Unfortunately, your loved one could suffer because of understaffing. Abuse and neglect could go unchecked when less staff are around to notice changes in a patient.

It is important to take note of your loved one’s care when you visit. Your loved one should not suffer from substandard care because there are insufficient workers. Stretching caregivers to the limit can be disastrous for them and the vulnerable patients they must keep safe and comfortable. If you suspect a problem with understaffing in Chardon nursing homes, contact our tenacious personal injury attorneys to seek justice for your loved one.

Ohio Nursing Home Staffing Rules

According to 3701-17-08 of Ohio’s Revised and Administrative Codes, all nursing homes must have a registered nurse (RN) or two working as the director or co-directors of nursing at least five days a week, primarily during the day to oversee nursing care for patients.

Direct care is provided by additional RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and nurse’s aides. Ohio does not require a specific number of caregivers but does require each patient to receive 2.5 hours of direct care per day. If no RN is on duty, one must be on call.

Federal requirements for Medicaid and Medicare-certified nursing homes are similar to state laws. If a Chardon nursing home is not observing these legal requirements and does not have enough staff, an individual could file a claim.

Problems Caused by Understaffing

If full staffing allows 2.5 hours a day for each patient, understaffing means residents receive less care. Vulnerable patients left alone for at least 21.5 hours a day are prone to serious harm. Problems understaffing causes include:

  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • More frequent falls
  • Infections such as bedsores
  • Infrequent care for incontinence, leading to rashes, urinary tract infections, and other problems
  • Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dose
  • Abuse by fellow residents and overworked staff

Nursing homes may be held accountable for injuries to frail residents, many of whom cannot advocate for themselves. A seasoned attorney in Chardon can connect understaffing in local nursing homes to negligence. The nursing home must render adequate care to patients, and if its staff does not and a patient sustains harm because of lack of care, compensation may be available.

What Should Relatives of Loved Ones in Nursing Homes Do?

Because many patients cannot speak up, loved ones should document any staff shortages they notice when visiting nursing homes. Patients who are not checked on for hours at a time every time a loved one visits may be in danger. Note when elderly relatives have lost weight, are unclean, have suspicious marks on their bodies, or appear distressed or nervous.

A lawyer in Chardon can guide family members when they suspect nursing home understaffing is leading to neglect. The Ohio Department of Health maintains a staffed complaint hotline, and families can also file complaints by filling out Form HEA 1685 and submitting it online.

Call an Attorney if Understaffing in Chardon Nursing Homes Leads to Abuse

Understaffing in nursing homes is a form of neglect. Residents are only required to see a caregiver 2.5 hours a day, and those hours will be less if not enough staff can make the rounds. A lot can happen to your loved one in those unattended hours.

You can report chronic understaffing by phone or online, but if you notice your loved one is declining and you suspect neglect from understaffing, you should contact a lawyer. The attorneys at Tittle & Perlmuter can work to stop the neglect and get compensation for your harmed family member. Understaffing in Chardon nursing homes is not acceptable. Call now to discuss your potential case with our team.

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