If you have a loved one in a Houston nursing home, you may wonder if his or her needs are being timely met and whether the facility is adequately staffed.

Understaffed nursing homes and long-term care centers are breeding grounds for neglect, abuse and medical mistakes. Yet, according to some sources, over 90 percent of the nursing homes in the United States are plagued by issues rooted in inadequate staffing.

Patient abuse is another problem linked to lack of sufficient staffing. Nurses and other care providers can be pushed to work longer shifts that over time result in frustrated and overworked employees who would rather be anywhere but at work.

Below are a few of the medical conditions that can develop or worsen in understaffed nursing homes.

  • Infections
  • Dehydration
  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition
  • Pneumonia
  • Weight loss

Families of patients are right to be concerned over the safety of their elderly relatives. But why aren’t these understaffed health care facilities employing enough people to meet the residents’ needs in the first place?

The bottom line usually is money, as labor costs are very high in these type of health care settings. It’s common for some facilities to cut corners by hiring licensed practical nurses when a registered nurse is needed, or to hire nursing assistants who are uncertified. But their patients bear the brunt of the blow-back when a nursing home is inadequately staffed by competent workers.

Family members — and even friends — of nursing home residents can, and should, speak up if they suspect that a resident has been abused, assaulted or neglected. By acting as a loved one’s advocate in such matters, you can ensure that he or she receives the quality care that he or she deserves to have.

Source: NursingHomeAbuseGuide.org, “Nursing Home Understaffing,” accessed Nov. 03, 2017