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What are the risks of understaffing in nursing homes?

When you check into a nursing home in New Mexico for a loved one, you should always look at the staff. Learning more about the staff can help you to better understand how well the nursing home operates and whether your loved one will get the proper care there. If the nursing home is understaffed, that is a red flag. Understaffing is a major issue in nursing homes and can lead to many problems for the residents.

According to PBS, problems from understaffing can severely impact the care your loved one will receive. When there is not enough staff, care lacks. There are not enough people to help patients when they have a need. It may lead to delays in the delivery of meals and medications. Essentially, it creates gaps in care that could put your loved one at a higher risk for injury and illness.

When patients do not receive proper care and attention from a nursing home staff, it can increase the number of falls, lead to serious health issues, such as bedsores, and produce an overall issue with the level of care. There is not standard for how many staff members a nursing home must have based on the number of residents living there. However, you can often tell there is an understaffing issue when staff works long hours and there are clear issues with residents not being attended to in a timely manner.

You may have to speak with the director or whoever is in charge to learn more about the staffing at any nursing home you consider. However, it is a good idea to ensure there are enough nurses and aides to provide the right care your loved one deserves. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.

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