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What to do if your loved one’s nursing home neglects hygiene

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Personal Injury

Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision, but it’s often made with the hope that they’ll receive the best possible care. This includes not only medical attention but also assistance with daily living activities, including basic hygiene.

Unfortunately, hygiene lapses can sometimes occur in nursing homes, putting residents at risk of infection and discomfort. If you suspect your loved one’s hygiene needs are being neglected, here’s what you can do.

Recognizing the signs of poor hygiene

The first step is to be aware of the signs that your loved one might not be receiving proper hygiene care. These can include:

  • Unpleasant body odor: This clearly indicates that bathing or showering isn’t happening regularly.
  • Soiled clothing or bedding: Look for signs of incontinence or spills that haven’t been addressed promptly.
  • Skin irritation or rashes: Can develop from infrequent bathing, sweaty or soiled clothing or unclean adult diapers.
  • Unkempt hair and nails: Regular grooming contributes to overall well-being and can be an indicator of overall care.

It’s important to remember that some residents may have physical limitations or cognitive decline that could make hygiene tasks more challenging. However, a lack of effort on the part of the nursing home staff is unacceptable.

Taking action: Talking to the nursing home staff

If you suspect hygiene neglect, you should request a meeting with the nurse in charge of your loved one’s care or the director of nursing. Don’t forget to keep a detailed record of the date, time and who you spoke with. Note down the specific signs of hygiene neglect you’ve observed. If the meeting doesn’t lead to a satisfactory resolution, it’s time to escalate the issue.

If the nursing home is not responsive to your concerns, you can benefit from consulting a legal team that can guide you concerning your legal rights and options. Taking action can not only improve the well-being of your loved one but also send a message that hygiene neglect is unacceptable in any nursing home facility.