From the time you were small children, people have been brought up and strongly encouraged to have strong personal physical hygiene habits. It involves the daily routine of brushing your teeth, washing your body, washing and grooming your hair, shaving if applicable, and applying deodorant. Kids at first find it to be a cumbersome task, as do some adults who are in a hurry to go somewhere or do something.
Having good physical hygiene is important nonetheless and not just to make you look presentable in public. It also protects you from illness and disease. One of the abuses that occur in nursing homes is one where residents have inadequate physical hygiene. Most if not all the patients in this situation cannot wash or groom themselves on their own.
The nursing home employs a staff of aides whose job it is to wash, bathe, groom and take care of a resident’s daily hygiene needs. However, there are times when the staff may fail to perform their duties. The evidence is in the appearance of the patient. He or she could be wearing soiled garments they have had on for days and sometimes weeks.
They may have a strong body odor and there may be a smell of urine and feces around them. That can happen with patients who wear diapers or continence devices that are left unattended for long periods. They also have bad breath, meaning they have not been brushing their teeth or having their dentures cleaned.
Conditions like this can lead to bed sores, weight loss, physical and emotional problems, and illnesses that are likely to spread to other residents which will make worse their already fragile condition and could have horrible health consequences, especially for a frail older person.
The bathroom and showers of a nursing home might not be sanitary. The same thing goes for food preparation. In fact, all areas of the nursing home such as living and common areas must be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. Abuses can happen when cleanliness is not a top priority of the nursing home. It can also happen when the staff is not properly trained.
Poor hygiene in a nursing home should not be tolerated. Anyone who has a loved one in a nursing home, and sees evidence of inadequate personal hygiene should first contact their local Area Agency on Aging, which employ Case Workers and Ombudsmen who investigate senior citizen abuse, especially in nursing home situations. Then contact the attorneys of Michael J. O’Connor & Associates. Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys can help you keep your loved ones safe and healthy, and will help guide you through the legal system if you should need to take legal action against a nursing home.