The corporate owner of an 18-facility chain of nursing homes was recently sued on behalf of all patients who received care at its nursing homes over a three-year period. According to the lawsuit, the corporate owners devised a strategy to understaff its facilities, undertrain its staff, and lie about staffing levels. Before the lawsuit, the state's department of health had reportedly issued dozens of warnings and citations to the nursing home chain for poor care at the very same facilities. Read more about the lawsuit here.
The attorney who filed the lawsuit was absolutely right -- patients of understaffed nursing homes are "elder abuse victims waiting to happen." So how does a nursing home chain make sure it has enough staff to provide good care? Easy! Don't underpay, undertrain, underappreciate, or overwork staff, and the term "nursing shortage" will disappear from our vocabulary. As long as the corporate owners consider workers to be little individual "profit centers," where paying staff one dollar less means the corporation is one dollar richer, patients and the staff who care for them will be victims. Maybe if corporate owners would spend less time being for-profit and a little more time being for-care, we'd see happier staff, patients, and families . . . and a lot less nursing home neglect and abuse.
Posted on Sat, January 12, 2008
by Robert Carter