Many nursing home residents need help maintaining their personal hygiene due to factors like poor vision, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. Sadly, sometimes residents’ most basic needs are neglected due to issues like understaffing, inexperience, poor training, or even intentional abuse. When nursing home staff members fail to provide sanitary conditions, or fail to help patients with basic tasks like brushing their teeth, bathing, or using the bathroom, it increases the risk that the patient will develop a debilitating infection or illness, creating a serious risk of personal injury and wrongful death.
If you believe that your elderly family member or spouse is living in squalid conditions, or is being neglected by nursing home staff members, you should contact a nursing home neglect attorney immediately to discuss your legal options. If your loved one became injured, ill, or developed an infection due to poor hygiene or filthy conditions in a nursing home, we can fight to recover compensation and hold the facility accountable. To talk about your nursing home abuse claim or nursing home neglect claim in a free, no-obligation, and confidential legal consultation, contact Brent Wieand at (800) 700-3497 today.
Poor Hygiene, Infections, and Unsanitary Conditions in Nursing Homes
Anyone’s health would be jeopardized by unsanitary care practices, rancid food, contaminated water, or squalid living conditions. However, these problems are especially dangerous for elderly people in nursing homes, many of whom already have delicate, compromised immune systems. Poor sanitation, and negligent care can cause rapid development of otherwise preventable diseases and infections in vulnerable residents. Some common examples of infections, foodborne illnesses, and other conditions caused by germs and poor sanitation in nursing homes include:
- Athlete’s Foot
- Bacterial Infections
- Bed sores / pressure ulcers
- E. Coli
- Food Poisoning
- Infected Cuts and Wounds
- Ingrown Fingernails
- Ingrown Toenails
- Infectious disease
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Viral Infections
Unsanitary nursing home conditions also provide fertile breeding grounds for mold, bed bugs, cockroaches, rats, fleas, and other disease vectors to multiply, further heightening the risk of sickness or wrongful death. If you have noticed any of these conditions in your loved one’s care facility, or if he or she has developed any of the conditions described on the list above, you should speak with the nursing home administrator and contact your state’s regulatory agency. It may be necessary to promptly remove the resident from the nursing home for his or her own health and safety.
Poor Dental Hygiene in Nursing Homes
Poor dental hygiene is particularly prevalent in nursing homes throughout the U.S., often with disastrous repercussions for residents. Surveys and studies have documented pervasive dental neglect in long-term care facilities, such as a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, which found the following after investigating five separate facilities:
“Adherence to individual standards was low, ranging from a high of 16% to a low of 0%. Teeth were brushed and mouths rinsed with water in 16% of resident observations. One resident had her tongue brushed. Standards never met were brushing teeth at least two minutes, flossing, oral assessment, rinsing with mouthwash, and wearing clean gloves during oral care. Most residents (63%) who received oral care assistance were resistive to CNA approaches. For most observations, oral care supplies were not evident.”
Dental health problems caused by poor hygiene in nursing homes include:
- Cracked Teeth
- Difficulty Eating and Swallowing
- Gingivitis (Gum Inflammation)
- Jawbone Damage
- Periodontitis (Gum Disease)
- Tooth Decay
- Tooth Infections
Compensation for Victims of Nursing Home Negligence
Poor hygiene at a nursing home may involve neglect of a resident’s personal hygiene, failure to provide safe and sanitary living conditions, or a combination of both issues. Nursing homes have a duty of care to their residents, and by failing to provide reasonable care and living environments, they may have breached this duty. If the violation causes a resident to suffer harm, the facility may be held liable for a variety of damages, including physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Compensation for financial losses is referred to as “economic damages” or “special damages.” These damages provide compensation for medical bills and other costs resulting from the resident’s illness or injury, such as the costs of transferring to a different facility, or, in wrongful death cases, burial and funeral expenses.
Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress is called “non-economic damages” or “general damages.” Though impossible to objectively calculate, non-economic damages try to provide reasonable compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, and other mental anguish and physical trauma the victim has been through because of the nursing home’s negligent care or abusive practices.
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Every state has different laws and regulations regarding compensation for victims in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our nursing home neglect law firm represents plaintiffs in cases throughout the United States, and no matter where the abuse or neglect occurred, our attorneys will work to obtain the maximum compensation for your elderly loved one’s sanitation-related illness, injury, infection, or death. Brent Wieand is proud to stand up for nursing home residents and their family members in the fight against the neglect and abuse of some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens.
If you’re worried that your elderly father, mother, spouse, or other senior loved one is suffering from health problems due to poor hygiene or sanitation at his or her nursing home, it is important to take action. Our nursing home neglect attorneys may be able to help. Contact us at (215) 666-7777 today for a free and confidential consultation regarding a settlement or lawsuit.