When you decide to trust a nursing home with the care of your elderly family member, you expect them to provide them with at least the standard of care that you would give them. Sometimes, they don’t give them the same quality of life that you want them to. While some of their shortcomings aren’t considered abuse and neglect, others are.
One of the biggest complaints that nursing home residents have is that staff has a slow response time. This can be from understaffing and overworking of the staff, which can be from genuine lack of time, but it can also be as a result of nursing home abuse. Let’s take a look at what slow response times can mean for patients and what you can do for your loved ones in long-term care facilities.
What Do Slow Response Times Mean?
Most nursing homes utilize call lights to notify the staff when a resident needs help in their room without leaving their bed. There are other methods for these notifications, but call lights are the most commonly used because they are basic technology that works.
While this is a great way for patients to alert the facility staff that they need help of some kind, it can be ineffective in other ways. Since the lights are nondescript, it can be hard to rank which patient is in need of help before others who ring the call light. Additionally, if many residents ring the light at the same time, staff might have problems reaching all of the residents in an acceptable time frame.
That leads us to the problem of slow response times. When staff is overloaded with calls to attend to residents in a facility, they might not be able to cater to each patient. They might end up needing to choose who they help first or whose calls they cancel assuming it is not urgent.
According to a study done observing call lights in nursing homes, before and after mealtimes are when call lights are used the most. This means that staff are flooded with call lights during this time, and if they’re understaffed or don’t have much time in between other tasks, then they end up having to cancel calls that they think aren’t high importance.
This study showed that staff members cancelled call lights 10 percent of the time because they didn’t have the time to help each resident. When they cancel the calls they are supposed to check back in later with that resident, but they forgot to do that 3 percent of the time. This can lead to problems for the patients.
What Problems Can Slow Response Times Cause?
While most of the time, staff cancel call lights or have slow response times because they’re busy or don’t have time to help every single resident, sometimes it is malicious. Even if the staff member is trying their best, it can still lead to problems and injuries in a resident if they take too long to respond to their call.
No matter the intentions of the staff, if they neglect a resident through taking too long to respond to calls, then that can be considered abuse. For example, staff members might neglect a certain patient for malicious reasons, or they might take too long for a patient who is a known fall risk, and both could be considered instances of nursing home abuse. Here are some of the problems that could be caused when nursing homes have slow response times:
- Missed medication
- Not helping a medical emergency in time
- Other injuries
Elderly people enter into long-term care facilities so that they can have the around the clock care that they need. They’re trusting the staff to be there when they call because they need their help. When that doesn’t happen, they can suffer serious physical and emotional injuries from the lack of help. That’s when they could use the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer.
You Can Trust Prince Law Firm
If your loved one is experiencing slow response times in their care facility that are causing them physical and emotional harm, then they likely are being neglected or abused. While you’ll want to take up your complaints with the facility they’re in, you also might be interested in hiring our Marion, IL nursing home abuse lawyer to protect your loved one’s rights.
With Prince Law Firm on your side, you can feel confident that you’ll get justice for how your family member has been treated. We’re dedicated to helping our clients and getting them the closure that they deserve. Reach out to our firm today so we can get started on your case.