If you are comparing nursing homes for a relative, staffing numbers are one thing you are likely assessing. The number of staff members is important because overwhelmed or undertrained staffers can be stretched thin and make injurious or fatal mistakes.
Furthermore, inadequate staffing numbers make it more likely that any neglect or abuse would occur and/or continue. As you explore nursing homes, it may help to know about common factors that contribute to staffing problems.
Low pay, high turnover
Not all nursing homes pay well. In fact, many do not, so quite a few staffers do not have much incentive to stay long. High turnover means a constant influx of staffers who need to be trained and to get familiar with your loved one’s routine all over again.
Pull aside at least two staff members as you tour each nursing home. Ask how long they have been working there and how many staff members have been working at the home for more than a year.
Not enough applicants
Low pay also means a dearth of applicants. This dearth also means that the facility might rush or fail to complete background checks. Thus, they may accidentally hire staff members who have a history of alleged abuse or negligence. The good news is that some nursing homes and school programs have come up with practical solutions.
A lot of responsibilities
There is also the fact that the facility may ask a relatively small number of staff members to do more and more, and the staff is not always comprehensively trained in these tasks. Miscommunications and gaps may be more likely to happen. An attendant may forget to give certain residents their medication at a certain time, for example, or forget for a long time to check in on a resident in a wheelchair.
Of course, it is possible to find the “perfect” nursing home and for abuse or neglect to occur anyway. Dealing with that is extremely stressful, and getting in touch with a lawyer helps you be aware of all options.