Nursing Home Residents at Risk for Infectious Diseases

Nursing home abuse and neglect

It seems like every day there’s another disturbing headline about nursing home residents suffering abuse and neglect. While families of nursing home residents may be aware of common signs of abuse and neglect, there’s another serious condition affecting nursing homes across the United States: infectious disease.

According to a New York Times article, “public health experts say that nursing facilities, and long-term hospitals, are a dangerously weak link in the health care system, often understaffed and ill-equipped to enforce rigorous infection control, yet continuously cycling infected patients, or those who carry the germ, into hospitals and back again.”

It is important to note nursing home facilities are required to have infectious disease control systems in place. Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable when it comes to infectious disease for a number of reasons, including weakened immune systems, living in close proximity to one another, and unsanitary conditions within nursing home facilities.

Below are safety tips for nursing home residents (Source: Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology):

  • Cover your mouth inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • Don’t share personal items with other residents
  • Remind care providers to wash their hands, it’s okay to ask a care provider if they have washed their hands
  • If you have an open sore it should be covered with a bandage, talk to your healthcare provider about that
  • If conditions in your room or common areas seem dirty file a report

If your loved one became sick or ill because a nursing home failed to take preventative infectious disease control measures contact us today.