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Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen in NYC?

reasons why nursing abuse happens nycEvery day, thousands of nursing home residents are abused and neglected in NYC. Like most people, you may ask yourself how something so horrible can happen to innocent people. Until more meaningful conversations surrounding nursing home abuse can shine light on the deficiencies in long-term care, we must work together to protect our most vulnerable population. Not only do we need to know how to recognize the signs of abuse, but we also need to thoroughly examine why nursing home abuse occurs in the first place.

There is no one single answer that explains why nursing home abuse happens. Several emotional stressors can cause caregivers to mistreat an elderly resident in a nursing home, and below you’ll learn about some of the main causes. Regardless of why abuse occurs in nursing home facilities, perpetrators of elderly abuse all want the same thing—power over their victims.

Staffing Shortages

Approximately 95 percent of nursing homes in the United States are understaffed. Understaffing in nursing homes leads to a low standard of care, endangering the welfare of high-risk residents. Staffing shortages gravely affect both residents and caregivers. Many nursing home facilities don’t have the budget to hire more workers, so caregivers are forced to work overtime with minimal support. With an imbalance in the staff-to-resident ratio, caregivers must prioritize the needs of certain residents, preventing other residents from receiving even the most basic care needs.

Insufficient Staff Training

Lack of experience and insufficient staff training is a form of nursing home negligence. By law, nursing home facilities are required to provide “reasonable care” to all residents. When that duty is breached, a resident can sustain irreversible injuries or death. To provide quality care, caregivers and staff must have in-depth training specific to elderly care. Also, staff should receive ongoing training to adapt to the different needs and health conditions of residents.

Unfortunately, due to staffing shortages, training is oftentimes ignored or rushed. Background checks may be extremely limited, and caregivers may not even possess required certifications, vocational degrees, or on-the-job training. Caregivers that lack the necessary skills to care for aging residents may unintentionally harm them. In some cases, caregivers may misunderstand elderly residents’ behavior as aggression and feel inclined to respond violently.

Underpaid Caregivers

Whether it’s intentional or not, underpaid caregivers are more likely to abuse residents. Being underpaid, especially when you’re overworked, can cause caregivers to feel undervalued and unappreciated. Therefore, underpaid employees who feel demoralized become resentful and show decreased levels of motivation to provide proper care. Vulnerable residents and those with more complex care needs tend to pay the biggest price. Failure to provide residents with individualized care and undivided attention can lead to serious health problems such as malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, and infections.

Individual Caregiver Problems

Caregivers are human and, like anyone, have their own problems outside of work. Many life stressors or past experiences of abuse can cause caregivers to take their frustrations out on residents. Some examples of individual caregiver issues that cause nursing home abuse include:

  • Stress and job burnout
  • Personal matters such as relationship issues or financial worries
  • Poor self-care or illnesses
  • Mental disorders such as depression or anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Abuse-related trauma

Individual caregiver issues paired with poor nursing home supervision and management let neglectful actions and lower levels of care slip through the cracks. Although abuse traits are learned, that doesn’t make it okay for caregivers to hurt residents. Nursing home management must do better by monitoring their staff and holding higher accountability standards for any wrongdoing.

No Excuse for Nursing Home Abuse. Call Dalli & Marino for Justice Today

While several factors explain why nursing home abuse happens, there is no justification for the harm inflicted upon residents. We seek long-term care for our loved ones because we are no longer able to care for them ourselves, and we trust that their caregivers will treat them like family. When elder abuse occurs, families feel betrayed and the results are often devastating. Defend your loved one’s rights with the successful nursing home abuse attorneys at Dalli & Marino, LLP.

Our team of highly skilled trial attorneys will employ 25 years of experience and resources as we support you and your family in the pursuit of compensation. We are passionate advocates and believe that our results-driven and client-centered approach will prove invaluable in your nursing home abuse case. To learn more, call 888-465-8790 or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.

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