The Connection Between Low Unemployment and Nursing Home Neglect

According to the latest research, a thriving economy is dangerous for America’s seniors. Although it may seem counterintuitive, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center recently uncovered that nursing home care quality decreases during times of economic growth and low unemployment. Economic downturns had the exact opposite effect: Nursing home care improved across the board during periods of financial crisis and high unemployment.

Examining data collected over a 15-year period, the Georgetown researchers sought to understand how economic cycles affected the quality of care at nursing homes. Time and again, they found that far more nursing homes were cited for serious deficiencies and instances of neglect when the economy was booming. They also found that the pattern was more obvious in for-profit nursing homes than in their not-for-profit equivalents.

Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Understaffing and Neglect

Although it’s not exactly clear why this connection between low unemployment rates and poor nursing home care exists, the current research suggests that it has to do with the staffing level cycles at nursing homes. Nursing home facilities experience lower employee turnover when unemployment rates are high, which leads to more qualified staff members performing the recommended daily checks to keep residents healthy.

Because seniors experience so many health problems, it’s crucial that they receive the right care from nursing home attendants. When staffing levels fail to meet federal guidelines, elderly nursing home residents may face higher risks of bedsores, sepsis, malnutrition, and many other painful injuries. If your elderly loved one is currently in a nursing home, it’s more important than ever to stay vigilant for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Given the record-low unemployment rates this year, it’s likely that nursing homes will soon reach record levels of deficiencies to match the growing economy.

At Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP, our Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers have more than 125 years of legal experience, and we can help you build a case when your loved one has suffered from neglect. Contact us at (855) 997-9319 for a free consultation today.

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