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Cook County, Illinois

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Barry Doyle
Barry Doyle
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Inadequate staff levels tied to falls

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A Rhode Island nursing home has been ordered to increase staffing levels in order to prevent residents from falling. A survey of the home resulted in immediate jeopardy findings by public health officials after they found several residents had fallen multiple times because of inadequate supervision due to low staff levels.

At least three residents were injured as a result of falling, including one who suffered a fractured hip.

Proper staffing levels are an important key to assuring the health and safety of residents in nursing homes. Where there is inadequate staffing, each member of the nursing staff is simply spread too thin to meet all of the care needs of the residents.

One thing that prompts many families to admit a loved one to a nursing home is falls and concerns about safety. Once there,a resident must be assessed for fall risk and a plan must be put into place and implemented to prevent falls. However, if there is not enough staff to carry out the care plan, even the best fall prevention plan is useless.

Federal regulations require that nursing homes be able to meet the care needs of its residents on a 24/7 basis. If there are not enough people to do so, then the only acceptable solution is to add additional staff, even if that comes at the expense of profits.