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Poor Hygiene Abuse

poor hygiene abuse

Poor hygiene in nursing homes is an all too common form of nursing home abuse.  This type of abuse in nursing homes is usually the result of too little staff working with too many residents. 

Poor hygiene 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 incontinence 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.

Types of Poor Hygiene Abuse in Nursing Homes

Poor hygiene abuse in a nursing home can take many forms, not only in regards to resident care, but overall care of the facility.  Some common types of poor hygiene abuse in nursing homes include:

  • Bathroom and shower facilities are not cleaned and sanitized properly on a regular basis. This can be a haven for bacteria and germs.
  • Food preparation and serving areas are not property sanitized. These areas are critical as all food is prepared and served here.
  • Other living and common areas are not cleaned and maintained properly. 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 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 Families Should Watch Out For

In choosing a nursing home 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 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 they are not aware that they should.  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 once took care of us.

Be Vigilant

Poor hygiene in nursing homes should not exist.  With proper vigilance and due diligence we can help spot poor hygiene abuse in nursing homes and take action. 

If you have a loved one living in a nursing home and are worried about poor hygiene abuse you should report the problem to staff and/or administrators.  If you are unsatisfied with their response, get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer.