A 38-year-old licensed practical nurse was arrested on felony neglect charges following an incident in which she allegedly failed to give five nursing home residents their prescribed drugs. Her arrest came approximately one year after the facility had previously been under investigation for a separate incident in the prior year. The woman's lawyer cites understaffing in the nursing home as a cause of patient neglect.
In 2010, federal officials testified before Congress and stated that seven percent of nursing home complaints concerned actual cases of nursing home neglect and abuse. Staffing shortages and low pay for strenuous job duties are cited as reasons for the high volume of nursing home complaints. The State of New York does not regulate the maximum number of patients that can be assigned to a single nursing staff member. In most homes, the number of patients assigned to a nurse or aid is based on the facility's population. This can be problematic because residents with more acute conditions require closer supervision and more attentive care.