The regulations that exist for nursing homes and other skilled nursing facilities are fairly light with regard to the staffing of nurses. This is probably due to the wide variance in the number of beds that nursing homes contain. After all, some nursing homes house hundreds of residents under a single roof. Others may contain only a dozen or so.
The actual law states that a registered nurse must be employed in the facility at least eight hours a day every day. That is the bare minimum, and it was probably intended to curtail the rare events when multiple people might be absent for some reason. I sincerely doubt that it was ever intended to be the normal standard of care.
Somehow, the Asta Care Center of Colfax managed to have absolutely no registered nurses on duty for eight out of fourteen days during April of 2013. On four additional days, there was no continuous nursing coverage.
In addition, there were no nurses on weekends in March and April.
When asked about rising nursing home costs, journalists are told by the nursing home industry that skilled nursing care, available 24 hours a day, is the driving force behind the steady increase in nursing home rates.
Asta Care Center of Colfax is certainly not unique. Circumstances at nursing homes across the country show that understaffing is the key to profits. Small fines imposed by health departments pale in comparison to the profits made by understaffing.
Understaffing leads directly to nursing home neglect and the pain and tragedy that follows. To change the equation, we need to take the profit away from nursing homes that provide inadequate care.
If you have a loved one who has been abused or neglected in an Illinois nursing home, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, we have the experience and expertise to manage all aspects of your Chicago nursing home case, and we would welcome the opportunity to speak to you.