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Lack of social workers and a concern for nursing home neglect

Placing a loved one in the care of another can be a difficult decision to make. Because it is challenging to care for an ill or aging loved one, family members are frequently faced with the decision to place their loved one in a nursing home facility. While many of these facilities are more than adequate and safe to care for residents, some may fall short. In fact, nursing home abuse and neglect could lead to significant harm to residents, even causing death in the worst of cases.

When it comes to navigating needs in a nursing home facility, social workers are very beneficial, as they can help make decisions regarding ever-changing health needs. Additionally, social workers are also available to provide emotional support and are also there to help residents cope and adapt with their changes in health.

Unfortunately, these valuable professionals are not always available or well-qualified. A current study found that roughly 83% of nursing homes are equipped with at least one qualified social worker. It also discovered that only 68% of nursing homes have at least one full-time qualified social worker. The federal government requires that nursing homes with 120 or more beds at the facility employ one full-time social worker. However, that individual does not need to hold a social work degree.

Social workers help meet the needs of residents and also help them when issues arise. Without an available or well-qualified social worker on site, issues could fall through the cracks. This could lead incidents of neglect or abuse to go unnoticed for a period of time.

It can be shocking to hear that the place that was entrusted to care for a loved one is also the party to blame for the harm caused to a loved one. Nursing home neglect and abuse may not always be clear, but if a family member suspects that a loved one has suffered because of neglect or abuse at a nursing home facility, it may be possible to seek damages through a personal injury action.

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