Although not all are, data collected by the Lexington Herald Leader indicates many might be.
The Lexington Herald Leader took the time to review incidents reported to the state inspections office in Kentucky that is responsible for overseeing nursing homes and the source found that “vulnerable people frequently are at risk because their caregivers are stretched too thin to be effective.” In fact, out of the 287 nursing homes located within the state, 122 currently have an overall rating of “below average” or “much below average” [Source: Medicare.gov]. While these ratings aren’t only attributed to poor staffing levels, the staff to patient ratio doesplay a role in the type of care these residents receive.
The news outlet even shared some of the stories they uncovered from the state inspections office that highlight what conditions some residents were forced to live in when residing in a nursing home where there weren’t enough staff members to tend to the residents living there. And the sad reality is, if you have a loved one living in an understaffed nursing home in Louisville, KY, they too might be subjected to living in the same or similar conditions as those from the stories we are about to share below.
- In 2015, a “frail” woman spent a night sitting on her bathroom toilet, “shouting uselessly for help, shivering with cold, because nobody remembered to return and assist her to bed.” The source highlighted that the nurse’s aide who was responsible for monitoring and tending to residents in that unit told the state inspector that she “had been overwhelmed trying to monitor 26 residents during the graveyard shift.”
Unfortunately, a large percentage of nursing home residents require some sort of assistance with mobility as many are unable to move around freely or complete daily tasks such as showering or using the restroom on their own. These residents rely on staff members to help them otherwise they are forced to go without a shower, use the restroom in their bed, or stay in the same place until someone comes to help them move from it.
- During that same year, some of the staff at Stonecreek Health and Rehabilitation in Paducah “dealt with a resident screaming about excruciating pain from a neglected urinary catheter by removing his speaking valve, a plastic prosthesis in his throat” that led to him becoming mute. That neglected urinary catheter was infected and later led to the patient requiring emergency hospitalization.
- Again, in 2015, the source stated that a resident who was living at Woodcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Elsmere told state inspectors that “he was ordered to empty his bowels in bed when nobody on staff was available to take him to the bathroom.” The resident stated that “he cried and said this was disgusting.” One of the nurses who routinely cared for the resident told the inspector that “the facility was short-staffed all the time.”
Although an understaffed facility won’t always lead to such severe incidents occurring, there is an increased chance that individuals residing in facilities with low staff rates are often neglected and left to tend to themselves, even when they cannot.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home in Louisville, KY who has been neglected as a result of their facility being understaffed, consider moving them to a new home and contacting one of our nursing home abuse lawyers in Louisville, KY. They can help you understand what your legal rights are and how you can file a complaint against the nursing home who caused your relative to suffer.