When nursing home staff fail to properly clean and bathe their residents, serious health problems can occur in the environment as germs are much more likely to spread among the residents. When an elderly person who resides in a nursing home is not cleaned and bathed as they should be, they are a victim of nursing home neglect.
When you placed your loved in a California nursing home, you were given the assurance that your loved one would be well-cared for which includes making sure that good overall personal hygiene is maintained at all times. It is every human being’s right to be clean and when that right is taken away because an individual happens to living in a nursing home, it is infuriating as well as against the law.
Sadly, many nursing homes fail to properly clean and bathe their residents. Why does this happen? Often times it is due to under-staffing and there being an improper care-taker to resident ratio. Under situations like these, residents are often times left unbathed and in clothing that is not clean. Those residents who wear diapers and other continence aides are sometimes left for long periods of time without being attended to. These types of conditions can lead to bed sores, weight loss, infections and other types of physical and emotional problems. Illness is much more likely to spread among residents who are not bathed and cleaned which if left un-checked, can cause widespread problems such as life-threatening staph infections or even death.
Poor hygiene in a nursing home setting can take many forms in regards to not only resident care but to the overall integrity of the facility as well. When bathrooms and shower facilities are not cleaned and sanitized properly, bacteria and germs can thrive. When other areas of a nursing home are not kept clean and germ-free such as tabletops, chairs, food preparation areas and dining rooms, residents are put at high risk of becoming ill.
If you suspect that your loved one is not being cleaned and bathed as he or she should be, this is clearly nursing home neglect that should not occur nor be tolerated. Failure to clean and bath residents is something that does happen and something that is often overlooked until it leads to more serious complications such as health problems that put lives at risk.
Many elderly people are not able to verbally communicate so that they can speak out in their own defense. Some that can communicate do not know how to report this type of problem or they may be afraid to report it in fear of revenge on the part of staff. Therefore, it is up to the rest of us to ensure that this type of blatant neglect does not take place.
Signs That May Indicate a Lack of Bathing/Cleaning
There are a few warning signs to be aware of that may indicate that your loved on is not being properly cleaned and bathed. They include:
- Wearing dirty, unwashed clothing
- Stains on clothing
- Stains on bedding
- Offensive odors such as the odor of feces or urine
- Unwashed, unkempt hair
- Lack of shampoo and soap
- Bed sores
- Behavioral changes such as withdrawal, anger, depression
- Diapers that are not changed
Even though there are numerous federal and state laws in effect which are designed to protect residents of nursing homes, violations occur daily that jeopardize the health, well-being and dignity of our elderly population.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, ask yourself the following questions when you visit:
- Do they appear to have been bathed recently and properly?
- Are their teeth and gums healthy?
- Are their clothes clean?
- Does their skin appear healthy?
- Does their hair appear to have been washed recently?
- Is the bedding clean?
If possible, do not tell the nursing home staff that you are going to visit your loved one. This way, the staff cannot attempt to hide the neglect of personal care your loved one may be suffering from. If you are not able to drop in for an unexpected visit due to living too far away from the facility, ask someone you trust who is located nearby to drop in for a visit so they can see whether or not your loved one looks as though he or she is being well cared for.
Why This Type of Neglect Happens
In addition to under-staffing, failure to clean and bathe nursing home residents can be caused by employees who are low-paid, over-worked and poorly trained. In too many cases of nursing home neglect in California, the administrative staff turn a blind eye to a lack of patient personal care & hygiene as they often feel it is the least of their problems. This lack of caring is indicative that something is very wrong on the administrative end of things.
If this type of neglect is left unreported, it will inevitably become worse wherein patients become gravely ill or even die. This is why it is so important that nursing home neglect be reported. Hogan Injury offers free consultations and we do not get paid until we win or settle your case. Our compassionate team of caring attorneys specialize in nursing home abuse and neglect. You can rest assured that if your loved one is a victim of neglect, we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to find out who is responsible so that they are held accountable for their actions.
Your mother, father, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or dear friend is counting on you to make sure he or she is well cared for. It is up to you to ensure that no one steals your loved one’s basic human dignity and quality of life. Our San Francisco law firm is adamant about making sure our elderly are not neglected and abused when living in nursing homes. If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected, contact us today. We will speak with you about the situation and will guide you in taking the appropriate course of action to ensure that your loved one is never neglected again. Remember that by reporting the neglect, you will be helping to make sure that what happened to your loved one will not happen to the loved ones of others.