Poor hygiene in nursing homes is a common form of nursing home abuse. Elderly residents may suffer from lack of bathing, unwashed clothes, or unchanged diapers or continence devices. These poor hygiene conditions can cause severe physical and emotional damages, medical problems, or death.
Poor Hygiene in Nursing Homes
The issue of needing standards for hygiene in nursing homes has been an issue for decades. Poor hygiene in a nursing home can exist not only with patient care, but also with the facility as a whole. Understanding how to identify the symptoms and signs of poor hygiene can help determine if your elderly loved one has suffered from negligence or abuse.
Poor Personal Hygiene
Poor hygiene can cause additional medical conditions, the spread of infections or diseases, and emotional trauma. Elderly residents rely on the nursing home staff to ensure the maintenance and care of their personal hygiene needs. Without proper care, elderly residents that have compromised or weak immune systems can develop serious medical complications that may lead to death from poor hygienic conditions. Some of the responsibilities that staff members must perform to prevent poor hygiene include:
- Proper bathing and washing of residents.
- Proper handwashing of nursing home staff.
- Assisting residents with going to the restroom.
- Assisting residents with changing their diapers or continence devices.
- Ensuring that all residents have clean clothes.
- Changing bandages as necessary.
- Brushing teeth, cleaning ears, and trimming nails.
This list is not exhaustive but includes some of the types of poor personal hygiene signs to look for regarding your elderly loved one in a nursing home.
Unsanitary Conditions at Nursing Home Facilities
Unsanitary and unclean conditions can result in residents developing severe medical conditions from common infections in nursing homes. A clean environment is vital for the elderly in nursing homes who may have compromised immune systems or whose overall health is more fragile and susceptible to disease and infection. Some facility conditions that can lead to poor hygiene and patient harm include the following:
- Hand hygiene deficiency, due to the failure of the nursing home staff to wash their hands regularly.
- Failure to clean any area that involves the preparation, storage, serving or eating of food.
- Failure to clean surfaces such as tables and chairs that may have germs or other contaminants.
- Failure to clean bathrooms, showers, toilet seats, or sinks.
- Failure to clean commonly used items and areas such as doorknobs, couches, games, or other common-area items.
- Failure to wash rugs, carpets, or floors.
- Failure to ensure that residents’ rooms are clean and sanitary.
Understaffing and Poor Hygiene
A link exists between understaffing of nursing homes and poor hygiene. When the staff feels rushed, overworked, or understaffed, they may not have the time to ensure that the facility or residents meet proper hygiene requirements. Staff may forget to wash their hands because they are so overworked and stressed. The spread of germs occurs quickly in a small environment filled with those who have compromised immune systems.
Additionally, some nursing home staff do not receive proper training regarding how to ensure safety and hygiene for the facility and the residents. Errors result from a lack of training can cause serious injuries or even death as a result of poor hygiene. You may want to contact a nursing home poor hygiene lawyer if your family member is experiencing these conditions in a nursing home.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-934-6555
How To Identify Poor Hygiene in a Nursing Home
If your loved one lives in a nursing home, or you are considering placing your elderly loved one in a nursing home, certain signs may indicate the nursing home does not practice safe hygiene or cleanliness. Some of the things to check for when you inspect your elderly loved one’s nursing home include the following:
- Inspect all areas that a resident may visit, including bathrooms, common areas, or dining rooms. Make sure to also inspect lesser-thought-of areas, such as elevators or closets.
- Inspect any outdoor areas, such as patios, to ensure cleanliness.
- Inspect the kitchen or where preparation of food occurs to see if it is clean and well-maintained.
- Observe the nursing home staff to see if they appear to wash their hands and keep themselves clean.
- Ask for a typical schedule regarding the bathing and cleaning of nursing home residents.
- Review staff’s internal manual on hygiene and cleanliness of not only residents, but the facility as well. Request to know how nursing home staff training occurs in these areas.
Contact a Nursing Home Poor Hygiene Lawyer
If you feel that your elderly loved one suffered physically or emotionally from either the poor hygiene of the nursing home facility or their own poorly maintained hygiene, you may have the right to seek compensation for any resulting medical bills or pain and suffering.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 933-4159 to help you ensure the protection of their legal rights by a nursing home poor hygiene lawyer. We do not shy away from tough cases, and we work on a contingency basis, so you do not pay any attorney fees until you win.