Despite the fact that older adults are medically vulnerable, some people assume that certain health issues are unavoidable at nursing homes. Infestations are among the unpleasant experiences that some people view as inevitable when an older adult moves into a nursing home.
Bed bugs, lice and scabies can quickly establish themselves and spread in nursing homes or other spaces with high population density. Although people sometimes talk about infestations as unavoidable, proper practices at nursing homes would greatly diminish the extent and severity of any infestations that occur. Widespread and long-lasting infestations are warning signs of nursing home neglect.
Understaffing is a major issue
One of the reasons that lice, bed bugs and scabies can move so quickly through nursing homes is that the people working there don’t have time to engage in proper cleaning and in sanitation protocols between rooms.
Once staff members notice signs of an infestation, cleaning practices should be a top priority, as should preventing the spread of the pests into additional rooms. Older adults are especially vulnerable to the side effects of pest infestations. They could develop severe infections and may not be in a position to advocate for themselves to get the care that they need. In extreme cases, infestations and the infections that they cause can exacerbate underlying medical conditions and may prove fatal.
Cleaning spaces and clothing, as well as mattresses and furniture, are as important as assisting residents in taking the necessary medication and performing daily grooming to limit the spread of the infestation and also how long the infestation affects individual residents.
Documenting what you witness could help your loved one
If you notice worrying signs of neglect at your loved one’s facility, like unkempt residents and messy shared spaces, then you should take note of those issues and bring them up with staff. If the facility does not address your concerns or if the situation worsens, then you may need to consider taking action, such as moving your loved one to a different facility or initiating a legal claim on their behalf due to the substandard support and care provided.
Understanding that infestations are often a sign of staff neglect at a nursing home could help you realize that it is time to take action on behalf of your loved one.