Low Staffing at Hampton Roads Nursing Homes Fuels Elder Abuse Fears
Low staffing and elder abuse often go hand-in-hand. Sadly, low levels of staffing are the reality at many Hampton Roads nursing homes, according to a recent investigation. When homes are run with too few people vulnerable residents suffer.
A recent investigation in The Daily Press found the majority of Hampton Roads nursing homes are losing staff. The staffing shortages appear to have fueled an above-average number of violations at nursing homes, putting vulnerable adults at an increased risk of untreated illnesses, injury, and even death.
As Virginia inuring home neglect lawyers, we are alarmed to read this report. While nursing staff are vital to the success of any well-run nursing home or assisted living facility, few state and national directives address staffing levels. Nursing homes claim Medicaid, which covers the costs of most residents, fails to pay enough money.
The staffing crisis at nursing homes is leading to elder abuse, according to residents’ rights advocates. The Daily Press spoke to Sam Kukich who said nursing home neglect of his mother-in-law led him to form the support group Dignity for the Aged.
Kukich told The Daily Press, the staff at nursing homes are drugging residents to keep them asleep. They are being shouted at and sworn at for falling down, he said
Staff gave residents the wrong medications. People push their call buttons and no one answers, and they are left helpless and crying, Kukich said. He claimed theft is rampant and residents are left in soiled briefs for hours. The class made by Dignity for the Aged are truly horrifying. Kukich said his mother suffered dozens of falls at a Newport News nursing home as staff looked on.
Nursing homes have a duty to protect residents from falls but it’s not always happening in Hampton Roads. Even experts are confused about where to turn.
The Daily Press spoke to a retired professor of medicine who said it took three weeks for a Norfolk nursing home to order an MRI that showed she sustained broken vertebrae from a fall she suffered when an unqualified staff member tried to help her move. While she tried to obtain the scan, the home attempted to discharge her. It moved her to a wing where she was deprived of daily showers and physical therapy her doctor ordered.
The investigation also chronicled instances of medical abuse. In one case, a home in Williamsburg failed to monitor a resident’s blood glucose. This is a critical measure of risk for people who have diabetes. The nursing staff failed to tell the resident’s doctor or family when it stopped using her short-acting insulin last year, a state investigation found. The detailed investigation touches on many types of nursing home abuse.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse In Hampton Roads
- Physical abuse – residents of some nursing homes and assisted living facilities are assaulted and tied down.
- Neglect – neglect includes failure to stop residents falling or not giving medications
- Overmedication – residents may be over sedated.
- Under medication – residents are deprived of the medications they require
- Sexual abuse – residents are sexually assaulted, raped and attacked
- Financial abuse – nursing homes sometimes deprive residents of their savings. Families can also defraud elderly residents.
- Lax security – vulnerable residents are allowed to wander off the premises where they end up in danger
Talk to an Experienced Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Low staffing at Hampton Roads nursing homes exacerbates elder abuse problems. At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we have helped the families of elderly people who suffered nursing home abuse. It’s always traumatic if your elderly family member is mistreated at a nursing or residential home. Please call us for a free consultation.