Q: Is my loved one in an understaffed nursing home?

A: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that 90% of nursing homes do not have enough employees to provide proper care to their patients. Since the nursing homes can retain more profits by paying less to its staff, employees are often underpaid, causing a high turnover rate. The remaining employees are overworked as a result. The best Florida nursing homes are often the ones that pay fair wages to staff, enabling them to stay at the home for long periods of time. Patients are more comfortable with longtime staff members, giving them a sense of familiarity that greatly increases their comfort level. Staff members that have worked for longer than a year are also finely attuned to their patients’ individual needs, allowing for more personalized care and are more likely to notice differences in their patients’ health and behavior. The best way to ensure your nursing home is taking proper care of your loved one is to visit often. Pay attention to the staff. How many times do employees come into the room during your visit? Do they call the patient by name? If your loved one is lucid, ask him or her about the staff. Does he or she have concerns? Is he or she ever left alone for long periods of time? Is he or she left alone at mealtimes, where choking is a common occurrence? Is the staff verbally or physically abusive? If your loved one has reported abuse in a Port St Lucie nursing home facility, we can help. Call Fetterman & Associates today at 561-845-2510.