Importance of Nursing Home Hygiene
Because many residents have serious health conditions that require their environment to be clean and disease-free, proper nursing home hygiene is critical.
The older population is not as resilient as younger people and can be more prone to getting and spreading infections. Infections in assisted living facilities can spread like wildfire since residents live in such close proximity to one another.
“Over 1.5 million people live in 16,000 nursing homes in the USA and experience an average of 2 million infections a year.”
– Aging Health Journal
If residents live in poor hygiene conditions, they are more likely to catch germs that can cause diseases and spread them to other nursing home residents.
Proper hygiene in nursing home facilities can cause a number of health problems, some of which can be life-threatening. Care facilities that do not factor health issues and hygiene needs into the level of care they provide may be committing nursing home abuse.
Thankfully, compensation may be available if you or a loved one suffered complications due to poor hygiene in a nursing home.
Signs of Poor Hygiene in Nursing Homes
Poor hygiene in nursing homes can be seen in both the cleanliness of the facility and in the residents.
Nursing home hygiene involves basic personal care, including getting dressed, brushing teeth, clipping nails, bathing, and combing hair. If these things are not regularly taken care of, it may be a sign of nursing home neglect.
Other signs of poor hygiene in nursing homes include:
- Adult diapers are not changed frequently enough
- Bedding, bathrooms, kitchen, and common areas are not clean
- Bedsores appear
- Giving unsafe food or water to nursing home residents
- Not properly bathing a resident or washing their clothes
Neglecting these duties may cause illness, infection, and other health issues. Maintaining a consistently high level of nursing home hygiene helps create a healthier and safer environment.
What Causes Poor Hygiene in Nursing Homes?
All too often, poor hygiene in nursing homes is caused by understaffing. Without enough nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to attend to patients, sufficient care cannot be provided.
“Even before the pandemic, the U.S. government failed to ensure that nursing homes were adequately staffed and regulated.”
– Laura Mills, researcher on older people’s rights at Human Rights Watch
Many nursing home residents are too frail to take care of their own personal hygiene. Other residents have conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia that make maintaining personal hygiene nearly impossible.
If the nursing home staff is too busy with what they consider to be more serious issues, basic needs such as food, bathing, and regular movement can get ignored.
Another cause of poor hygiene in nursing homes is that some staff members are not properly trained on patient cleanliness. They may lack any kind of formal education in proper health care.
Finally, problems with poor hygiene in nursing homes can occur if staff members and residents do not regularly wash their hands. Nursing homes can be breeding grounds for germs, and elderly residents may be forced to go long periods of time without being taken to wash their hands.
Does Poor Hygiene Indicate Nursing Home Neglect?
While not always the case, poor hygiene in nursing homes may be a sign of abuse or neglect and a red flag for family members to monitor.
By law, nursing homes must provide residents with safe and clean living conditions. They must also meet federal and state requirements for safety and security. If this is not happening, it could legally be considered nursing home neglect or even abuse.
Nursing home neglect is tragic, and it is far more common than many people realize. Neglect due to poor hygiene can cause physical and emotional harm to elderly people, and it should not be taken lightly.
File a Nursing Home Hygiene Lawsuit
Nursing homes have a duty to keep residents safe and clean. If your loved one has suffered from an injury or died due to complications of poor nursing home hygiene, you may want to file a lawsuit.
Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit may help you get the compensation you need to find better care for your loved one. It can also prevent other vulnerable nursing home residents from being harmed.
Get a free case review today to learn if you may be eligible for compensation.