One important factor of your health revolves around maintaining proper hygiene. Practicing proper hygiene can improve your health in many ways, while poor hygiene can cause a variety of diseases and ailments. Good hygiene practices include behaviors that support the cleanliness of your hair, teeth, hands, eyes, and other parts of your body. Understanding the effects and diseases caused by poor hygiene and how you can prevent them may keep you healthier, happier, and may even save you money on medical bills. According to the Nursing Homes Reform Act, nursing homes must observe a standard of care for each patient that includes maintaining their personal hygiene.
Conditions and Diseases Caused by Poor Hygiene
Poor hygiene can negatively impact your health in several ways. Sometimes acute conditions emerge as the result of poor hygiene, while long-term diseases and chronic ailments may manifest themselves in the lives of individuals who depend on a caregiver for assistance with personal hygiene, such as nursing home residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the effects of bad hygiene may include:
- Lice: Lice may infest the scalp, pubic area, or other parts of the body with ample hair growth.
- Scabies: A small mite that can infect the skin, causing a rash and discomfort.
- Tooth decay: This can occur from improper dental hygiene and can result in painful and expensive dental care.
- Diarrhea: Bacteria and viruses can cause diarrhea, which can lead to life-threatening dehydration if someone does not properly address it.
- Water Illnesses: A variety of illnesses caused by exposure to or ingestion of unpurified water sources that may contain foreign bacteria or chemicals.
These only represent a few of the many potential diseases and conditions caused by poor hygiene. If you or someone you love lives in an environment maintained by other people, or if they depend on caregivers in their everyday life, make sure caregivers closely monitor their hygiene to avoid the negative effects of poor hygiene.
Healthy Behaviors That Support Good Personal Hygiene
According to research from “Hand hygiene: Back to the Basics of Infection Control”, one of the best things caregivers can do to support healthy hygiene involves frequently washing their hands. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds can help kill germs that may otherwise spread to parts of the body and trigger infection or disease.
Bathing regularly and effectively also offers a good way to avoid poor hygiene. If someone else assists your loved one with their daily needs, they should bathe them properly and often. Brushing a resident’s teeth and flossing regularly also falls within the responsibilities of a caregiver in a nursing home. Failure to perform any of the regular, daily hygiene practices for residents can prove detrimental to their health. Always do your best to protect your hygiene, and if your loved one resides in a facility like a nursing home where others maintain the premises, report any breaches of protocol that could affect your health or the health of a loved one.
Get Help from a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Today
Unfortunately, not everyone has the physical or mental capacity to take care of themselves. Some members of the elderly population, for example, may depend on others for support with daily hygiene needs. They may live in a nursing home or an assisted living facility and rely on the trained staff to help them maintain their personal hygiene. Avoiding the effects of poor hygiene in a nursing home begins with caregivers’ behavior. If they can establish healthy habits that support maintaining proper hygiene, they will minimize the risk of hygiene-related diseases and health issues in their elderly residents.
If your loved one suffered from medical issues related to a breach in the standard of care provided by the nursing home, a nursing home lawyer may help prove the facility liable for the losses you and your loved one suffered, such as medical bills and pain and suffering.
If you feel that your loved one may be suffering from neglect due to the failure of trained facility staff to provide proper care, you may qualify to take legal action. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm handles cases related to the inadequate hygiene care of the elderly. Call (800) 842-6336 to set up a free consultation.