When the holiday season gets in full swing, nursing homes tend to feel a lot of pressure. Suddenly their staff is down, the residents and their families are in and out to celebrate together, and the cold weather and stress of the whole season can even cause health issues for the residents. With all of these pressures and duties, sometimes an aspect of the day will receive less attention. Many times this aspect is hygiene.
People don’t tend to rank hygiene quite as highly as they would food or mental health on the importance scale. However, hygiene can have huge effects on the residents’ health both physically and mentally. Hygiene is so important that, legally, the neglect of it can be considered nursing home abuse.
The Consequences of Bad Hygiene
The reason this is so important is because neglecting a person’s hygienic needs can have serious consequences both physically and mentally.
- Physically: Because nursing home residents typically have compromised immune systems and are also typically less active, they are at much higher risk of infection. Other physical risks associated with poor hygiene can include bedsores or pressure ulcers, cavities, and other preventable illnesses such as colds, flus, and rashes.
- Mentally: Anyone who has ever gone more than a day without a shower knows the mental effects of feeling unclean. If someone who is physically unable to perform proper hygiene routines is denied this, then they are at much higher risk for depression and anxiety.
What to Look Out For
If your loved one is in a nursing home, and you are afraid that she might not be receiving the type of hygienic care that she needs, there are a few things you can look out for:
- Dirty Bathrooms and Shower Facilities: It doesn’t matter if the staff at the nursing home helps residents shower frequently if the showers themselves are always filthy. Showers must be cleaned regularly and thoroughly in order to limit the spread of bacteria.
- Lack of Staff: No matter how sanitized the place may be, if no one is assisting the patients, many will be left to sit in filth all day. Many nursing home residents cannot participate in daily hygiene activities on their own. They need assistance, and if the building is short-staffed, this may be one of the first things to be neglected. This is why it is important to ensure that the nursing home is properly staffed, and your loved one is being assisted daily.
- Laundry: Most of these homes have a laundry service since many residents are unable to do this on their own. It is important that your loved ones’ clothes are being both changed and washed so that he is not wearing the same outfit for days at a time. Many times, residents can be forgetful and may not remember to change clothes every day or recall whether a shirt is dirt or clean. Therefore, the staff must be careful to ensure that no one is wearing dirty clothes.
Help from an Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Neglect of hygiene is a form of nursing home abuse, and it should not be tolerated. If your loved one becomes ill due to poor nursing home hygiene, you could be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation or contact us online.