There are limits to what nursing homes can do for their residents. They cannot provide truly around-the-clock support for everyone on an individual basis, nor can they cater to everybody’s culinary preferences in addition to their dietary restrictions. Some people will get sick or hurt themselves while living in nursing homes, and others will skip meals because they are picky eaters.
However, there are known risk factors that jeopardize the people living at nursing home facilities, and the professionals running nursing homes can take care to prevent these known risks. When nursing homes aren’t proactive about providing support for their residents, preventable medical issues like the three below may arise.
Infestations spread quickly in residential care facilities. When you have many people living together in a relatively small space, you have an ideal breeding ground for various kinds of pests. From a sanitation standpoint, cockroaches and rodents are potentially very concerning for the health of the residents.
However, the worst infestations may involve much smaller pests. Lice, bedbugs and even scabies can spread quickly at nursing homes and can cause not only discomfort but secondary medical issues, like infections.
Older adults are at higher risk for falling after the age of 65, and they also have a higher chance than younger people getting seriously injured when they do fall. Someone who has fallen before is at increased risk of falling again.
Nursing homes should account for fall risk when planning their staffing schedules to ensure that they have enough staff on hand to meet the basic support needs of the residents. Otherwise, people will try to manage things alone and end up falling and getting hurt.
Pressure ulcers, frequently called bedsores, are wounds that start out small and quickly progress. Caused by the pressure of the body when maintaining one position for a long time, bedsores begin as red patches of skin and develop into gaping, weeping wounds.
They can cause severe infection and can damage body tissue, including the musculature below the wound. Nursing homes can prevent bedsores in many cases with frequent rotation, daily activity, careful monitoring and cushioning.
Those affected by preventable medical issues at nursing homes may require additional care because of their health issues and may also have a lower quality of life of their injury or illness. Holding nursing homes accountable when negligent operating practices affect their residents can protect individuals and hopefully get the facility to change how it operates.