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NYC Nursing Homes Are Prepping for the Next Pandemic – But Will It Be Enough?

The approach of winter often comes with mixed feelings. Excitement for the holidays and gorgeous snow is in the air, but there can also be a build-up of fear and frustration. The Coronavirus pandemic wreaked severe havoc on the population of New York, especially for more susceptible populations, such as nursing home residents.

For this reason, nursing homes are doing everything to prepare for what may happen next. While they rush to ensure that the occurrences during the COVID pandemic do not revisit the state, the real question is, will all these endeavors be enough? If you or a loved one have any questions about how nursing homes are prepping for the next pandemic, or if you were the subject of neglect due to COVID, reach out to Dalli & Marino, LLP today. We can help you navigate any questions you may have and help get you the compensation you may be due.

What Efforts Are Nursing Homes Putting In?

It is always in a nursing home’s best interest to stock up on personal protection equipment, medication, and other tools necessary to fight off infections within their facilities. This has been a standing policy since 2020, alongside the requirement to have, and be ready to implement, a pandemic emergency plan. No one was ready for what the pandemic entailed, so many nursing homes are stocking up in case something like this happens again.

The lack of appropriate PPE and medication also brought forth the other issue facing nursing homes: chronic understaffing. Many New York nursing homes, assisted care facilities, and home care programs are severely understaffed to the point the NY Senate instituted hearings to shed light on the problem. In such difficult times, residents had very few options of people they could rely on. As a result, many nursing homes are attempting to increase the amount of skilled and knowledgeable staff on hand so that they can adequately provide care for their residents.

The Problem Behind Understaffing

For a nursing home to operate to its fullest level of effectiveness, it has to have the appropriate amount of staff to perform the services and care for the residents without failure. Unfortunately, many nursing homes were – and still are – understaffed, meaning residents don’t receive the care they need. 

While it is true that measuring the quality of nursing care can be a complex concept, we understand enough about its components to know when something is going right and when it isn’t. If one element is not done properly, then you end up with the nursing home failures experienced during the pandemic.

The problem behind the understaffing is simple. Facility owners looking to keep their employee costs down opt for a high resident-to-nursing staff ratio. To complicate things further, they overschedule the few staff they have to the point they burn out and leave the employ of the facilities. This, in turn, results in a high turnover rate and plummeting quality of services.

What makes it worse is the significant level of cases where families lost their loved ones due to understaffing in long-term care facilities, yet there still isn’t any official government action on the same. No directive, regulation, or legislation from the state or federal government has been released requiring nursing homes to have a specific limit regarding the staff-to-resident ratio.

What Are the Effects of Understaffing?

Understaffing can lead to many issues, even when there isn’t a pandemic. Residents who need help performing daily activities are more likely to undergo neglect and abuse. Patients can also experience various medical errors, deteriorating illnesses, bed sores, and other serious missteps that can lead to death.

While a bed sore can sound like a simple illness with a straightforward resolution, this is not always the case. If not treated, it can lead to further issues for the patient, and sometimes may even result in death. When you add in the complexities of dealing with a pandemic, residents in nursing homes were often not cared for properly physically, emotionally, or mentally. 

Even if medical guidelines exist on how to deal with a pandemic, it’s of no use if sufficient staff is not available to help deal with the extra strain. When nursing home staff don’t pay attention to their residents and they cannot have visitors, who looks after them? If you or a loved one were the victim of nursing home neglect throughout the pandemic or after, partnering with an elder abuse attorney can help you get the justice and compensation you may be owed. 

Partner With Dalli & Marino, LLP in New York

Experienced lawyers can help you if you or a loved one were the subject of nursing home abuse. At Dalli & Marino, LLP, we pride ourselves in working hard to get justice for our clients who have been through a similar situation to yours, and the results speak for themselves. Our lawyers also speak Spanish so we can communicate with as many clients as possible.

We can provide elders and their families with the tools necessary to initiate and pursue civil action against the nursing home as a result of abuse. To know more about how we can be of service to you or for a free case evaluation, reach out to us by calling us at (888) 465-8790 or by filling out our online contact form.

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