Poor hygiene is sign of nursing home neglect

By on May 20, 2010

A common complaint we hear from family members of nursing home residents is that the resident is regularly left in soiled diapers, clothes or bedsheets.  The nursing staff almost always claims that it "must have just happened because I just checked her."  Certainly that can be true, but if you are finding a loved one dirty on a regular basis and keep hearing the same excuses you should be concerned. 

Leaving a patient in soiled clothes or diapers is disrespectful.  Our senior citizens deserve better treatment.  In additional to being disrespectful it also puts their lives at risk.  Patients who are regularly wet are at risk for urinary tract infections (UTI).  A UTI is of course painful, but it can also lead to a life threatening infection called urosepsis.  Moist skin is also more likely to breakdown.  Skin breakdowns like pressure ulcers are painful, debilitating and also potentially life threatening.

My advice is to trust your instincts.  If you believe a loved one is being neglected, you do not have to accept excuses.  When a nursing home accepts a patient the nursing home is agreeing to provide quality care.  You have the right to make an internal complaint to the nursing home administration, file a formal complaint with Virginia Department of Health, and you may also retain a private attorney to investigate.

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