Caring for a loved one as they age is a huge undertaking, and it takes a team to provide them with the help they need. While the staff in a nursing home may try their best, the facility might not put them in a position to succeed.

Illinois has the worst ratio of nursing home staff to patients in the U.S., according to the AARP. Staffing limitations can lead to patients getting less daily attention than they need. This constant shortcoming can cause serious health concerns and could be illegal.

Pricey risks

Facilities that cut costs by running a smaller staff can put residents at risk for neglect and malnourishment. Illinois looks to avoid these problems with strict standards for how much attention a patient should receive. And that attention has to come from qualified individuals.

Prescribing care

Your loved one deserves quality care, and state laws outline exactly how much they can expect:

  • Number: The amount of staff necessary can change from one home to the next. The number of patients and their needs can alter how many people need to be working at certain times of the week.
  • Qualification: The role each staff member plays is also important in determining time. There are rules on calculating requirements for the Director of Nursing, Resident Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses compared to the number of beds in a facility.
  • Attention: Even when facilities meet the number of qualifying staff, they still need to divide their attention accordingly. Illinois law states that residents get a few hours of personal care every day, and a chunk of that time has to come from a licensed nurse.

You should be able to expect a certain level of care when you entrust your family to a nursing home. Not having enough hands to go around can leave residents in a dangerous position. Make sure you know when their facility isn’t living up to code, and you could be on your way to getting them the recovery they need.