Poor hygiene in nursing homes is an all too common form of nursing home abuse. Poor hygiene abuse in nursing homes is usually the result of too little staff working with too many residents. Most staff members lack formal education in proper health care. Abuse most commonly takes the form of neglect. Residents are many times left unbathed in clothes that aren’t clean. Residents that wear diapers and other continence devices are sometimes left unattended for long periods of time. Conditions like these can lead to bedsores**, weight loss, and other severe physical and emotional problems. Illnesses are more likely to spread among residents left in conditions like these which may lead to more medical problems, or even death.
Poor hygiene in a nursing home facility can take many forms, not only in regards to resident care, but overall care of the facility. Bathroom and shower facilities that are not cleaned and sanitized properly on a regular basis can be a haven for bacteria and germs. The same thing goes for food preparation and serving areas. These areas are critical as all food is prepared and served here.
Other living and common areas that are not cleaned and maintained properly can also be a source of trouble. Common areas should be clean and free of obstacles. Counters, chairs, and tabletops should be clean and wiped down many times a day to keep the area as free of germs and bacteria as possible.
A good nursing home should consider itself a medical facility, like a hospital. Proper rules for the cleaning and sanitation of food areas and other areas should be standard. Cleanliness should be a top priority in all areas of the nursing home. Staff should be properly trained in the proper ways to clean all areas of the facility, as well as trained in how to contain and properly dispose of medical and biological waste.
What To Look For
In choosing a nursing home facility for your loved one there are several things you should look for when you are inspecting the place for the first time. Make sure to check all areas of the home that a patient would normally be allowed to go to. Then check the not so normal places such as elevators, or closets. Even an outdoor patio should be properly cleaned and free of hazards. Check the kitchen first, and if you are allowed to talk to some of the people that work there you can get an idea of how clean a kitchen is by looking at the cleanliness of the people who work there.
Poor hygiene in nursing homes should not be tolerated. However, it does exist and is all too commonly overlooked until what started out as simple neglect leads to more serious and deadly health issues. The elderly are often the victims of debilitating medical conditions when they arrive at a nursing home. Many suffer from severe mental and emotional disorders as well. They often cannot speak out in their own defense because most of the time they are not aware that they should be doing so. Or they may not know how to report problems. It is up to the rest of us to look after and take proper care of the people that took care of us.
Poor hygiene in nursing homes should not exist. With proper vigilance and due diligence we can help spot poor hygiene in nursing homes and take action. If you have a loved one living in a nursing home with poor hygiene you should report the problem to staff and if you are unsatisfied you should be all means get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer.
This article used with permission: The Nursing Home Abuse Center