CHICAGO, IL – An atmosphere of chronic understaffing doesn’t support nursing home residents safety – an issue that remains prominent throughout the United States. Illinois has struggled to provide clinical and support staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, making basic care of residents extremely challenging.
Understaffing in nursing homes across the nation is nothing new – especially in Illinois. A report by AARP in 2018 shows Illinois ranked as the worst state in the country for direct care hours. Illinois law requires, “minimum staffing ratios to be 3.8 hours of nursing and person care each day for a resident needing skilled care and 2.5 hours of nursing and personal care each day for a resident needing intermediate care,” (Section 300.1230).
There are some indicators you can look for that will tell you if a nursing home has serious staffing issues. For example, if call light are frequently unanswered, this is a red flag that there’s understaffing in the facility.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) cited and fined Aperion Care of Mascoutah for repeatedly not answering residents call lights. The administrator admitted he was aware that there was an issue with call lights not being answered timely. One resident admitted to using a bedpan when having to go to the bathroom because call lights go unanswered anywhere from 30 minutes up to an hour.
In December 2020, Illinois nursing homes were significantly understaffed in 165 facilities and affecting the care of more than 11,700 residents. Chicago nursing homes suffered a 19 percent shortage of nurses by December, and an additional 19 percent of aides.
Inadequate Staffing Levels Correlate to Low Quality Care
Without adequate staff and enough skilled nurses and aides, it’s nearly impossible to deliver the quality of care implemented by state and national laws. Understaffed nursing homes have increased reports of:
- Bed sores/pressure ulcers
- Falls and other fall-related injures
- Infections/spread of diseases
Look out for these signs if you or a loved one is a nursing home. Unfortunately, sexual abuse and physical abuse are also prone to increased instances due to the lack of oversight. It may mean that they are in danger and are vulnerable to speak up. It’s important to document any incidents, inform the administrator and/or call the police, and contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
Contact the Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at the Dinizulu Law Group
The skilled attorneys of the Dinizulu Law Group understand how nursing homes can provide poor quality of care to residents and we are hear to fight for you and help you throughout the duration of the legal process. To learn about your legal options, call our office now at (312) 384-1920.