Nursing homes are an important arm of communities – they provide care and attention to elderly loved ones and those who need it the most. Over the years, nursing homes have become overwhelmed with care demands and staff shortages, thus creating an imbalance in the quality of care delivered. The imbalance has led to a rise in nursing home abuse and negligence cases; read npslaws.com/welch-smith/practice-areas/nursing-home-abuse/ for more information.

As the number of nursing home abuse and negligence cases increases, more residents at nursing homes have complained about common issues that affect them and their welfare. This article sheds more light on the three commonest complaints about nursing homes.

These complaints are;

  • Slow response times
  • Poor quality food
  • Isolation and lack of social interaction

While these three are the commonest complaints cutting across the board, other common complaints include conflicts with roommates, sleep disruptions, staff ignoring residents’ wishes, undertrained staff, restricted visiting hours, lost or stolen personal items, small living areas, etc.

Find the dangers and causes of the three commonest nursing home complaints below.

Slow Response Times

One of the commonest complaints from nursing home residents about service quality is the slow response times from staff. This happens when nursing home staff take an unreasonably long time to attend to residents and their requests. Some residents also complain about non-attendance to their calls for help.

This lingering problem is especially due to the unhealthy demand placed on nursing home facilities and the lack of adequate nursing staff.

The Dangers Of Slow Response Times

Slow response times can be dangerous to nursing home residents needing immediate help and response, especially when experiencing life-threatening health crises, difficulties, or setbacks. With most nursing home residents having underlying conditions that can degenerate over time, late response to health crises can further plunge them down the unhealthy road.

Some of the common dangers of slow response times from nursing home staff include;

  • Soiled bedsheet
  • Fall injuries accompanying an attempt to help themselves, whether to use the restroom or other facilities
  • Bed sores
  • Lack of exercise
  • Health complications
  • Mental and emotional health deterioration

Why Slow Response Times Happen In Nursing Homes

One of the biggest threats that care homes and nursing facilities face is staff shortage. Over the years, the number of available and trained nursing home staff has dwindled while the number of residents has increased. This has caused an imbalance in the staff-to-patient ratio, thus putting more pressure on the limited resources available.

However, such challenges are not excusable as nursing home facilities are expected to do their best to maintain an appropriate staff-to-patient/resident ratio to ensure their residents get the best care and attention needed.

Poor Quality Food

Food is an important part of health and nutrition. Most nursing home residents complain bitterly about food and food options which can further affect their health, making them fragile and frail, and complicating existing medical conditions. Some of the common complaints about food include;

  • Lack of food variety to choose from.
  • Poor quality food lacking essential vitamins and nutrients.
  • Intake of too many processed ingredients.
  • No seasonal or local foods incorporation.
  • No alternatives are provided to residents with preferences, dietary restrictions, or allergies.
  • Food does not meet residents’ specific dietary and health requirements.

The Dangers Of Poor Quality Food

Food is one of the basic pillars of health and nutrition. It is how many people get their daily dietary, nutritional, and health supplies. However, residents may be deprived of their nutritional demands due to a lack of food options or alternatives in instances of undesirable food.

Residents may become more susceptible to diseases and illness or may take longer to recover from illnesses due to a lack of proper nutrition. This can also lead to resentment, sporadic weight loss, and low immunity.

Lack Of Social Interaction 

Humans are social animals, irrespective of how low or high their preferences are. A 2020 study revealed that 22 to 42% of residents in nursing homes suffered from severe loneliness. This is an increase in statistics from the 10% recorded in earlier years.

The Dangers Of Social Isolation

Loneliness and social isolation have been linked to several consequences, including;

  • Mortality
  • Risk of substance abuse
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Obesity
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Recurrent stroke
  • Worsening memory-related issues, including Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • More frequent hospitalizations

 These issues can further cause a degeneration of health and wellness, which can lead to other health complications. As a loved one and family member, it is important to pay attention to these treatments and speak to an attorney if your loved one has suffered physical, emotional, or mental injuries due to mistreatment at the nursing home. Your attorney can advise you accordingly and pursue claims filing if necessary.