A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most common type of infection seen among aging adults in long-term care facilities, according to a study in The Annals of Long-term Care.
UTIs are caused when microbes and bacteria enter the urinary tract, sometimes through the use of a catheter.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
The most common symptoms of a UTI for older adults in a nursing home are involved with urination. It’s the sensation to urinate frequently or suddenly, usually accompanied by a burning sensation during urinating, according to Mayo Clinic. There may be pelvic pain, an unusual color or smell in the urine, and possibly blood too.
Getting a UTI in a nursing home can have potentially harmful effects on the person’s health and can lead to long-term physical complications without treatment, like:
- Sepsis, or some form of poisoning
- Urethra shrinking in men
- Kidney damage
- Other types of infections
UTIs can be a painful, potentially deadly health risk for seniors in nursing homes. Here is what you can do to help prevent other seniors from getting UTIs in nursing homes.
Nursing Home Responsibility
Staff workers in nursing homes are responsible for keeping a clean environment. This includes wiping down equipment, disinfecting tools, and ensuring overall cleanliness to avoid bacteria spread among its aging residents.
The type of factors that come into play for the spread of bacteria that causes UTIs in nursing homes are:
- Low fluid intake by a resident.
- Lower immune systems from aging.
- Unclean catheters.
- Physical ailments that block urine flow, like enlarged prostate or kidney stones.
- Poor sanitary conditions, which can lead to microbe growth.
- Already existing medical conditions that can make UTIs worse.
Has your loved one suffered from a UTI in a nursing home environment? If so, there may be negligence involved either from the nursing home owners, management, or staff working with your loved one.
If you have suspicions about how the nursing home resident is being treated (or mistreated), you might want to discuss any possible legal options you might have to straighten out the situation for your loved one.
Issues in a Nursing Home Environment
In a nursing home, a resident’s lack of mobility may be enough to bring about a UTI. The person may need to urinate but is suppressing the urge while waiting for staff to help get the person there. The resident might not be able to communicate verbally that they need to go to the restroom. Another possible reason is a poorly managed staff, which may be involved with passive-aggressive behaviors with residents, and choose not to help.
That’s why the quality of care in a chosen nursing home facility is of the utmost importance. A family must be certain that their loved one will be taken care of through any illness at the nursing home.
In addition, loved ones must place trust in the nursing home staff to keep the environment free of bacteria, germs, and viruses. If the nursing home is overrun with bacteria, UTIs may be the norm rather than the exception.
Family members have the option of seeking legal advice from an attorney if they sense that the nursing home cannot care for their loved one responsibly and ethically. The first step that the family should do is to try to find a better nursing home for the parent. There may also be a state organization where a family can report any signs of resident distress in the nursing home.
Forms of Elder Abuse
Various forms of elder abuse occur regularly in nursing homes, according to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. Neglectful staff, emotional abuse, sexual or physical abuse, and even exploitation of a senior’s resources are considered forms of abuse. Dirty, unkempt facilities might also figure into those categories.
Because staff neglect has risen higher in recent years, there has been a comparable increase in UTIs in nursing homes. If this is happening to your loved one, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336. We will support your family in righting the wrong at the nursing home and will walk you through the legal process to try to win any compensatory damages for your parent.
Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will conduct an investigation to find out how the nursing home was negligent in its handling of your loved one. Do not let UTIs become commonplace in nursing homes. Fight back with the help of a nursing home negligence attorney.