Unsanitary Conditions in Nursing Homes Subject Residents to Illness and Disease
Unsanitary conditions in nursing homes increase the risks of illness and disease for residents. Many residents who suffer injuries due to unsanitary conditions file lawsuits for damages with a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Under state and federal laws, nursing homes owe a duty of care to residents to ensure that their basic needs are met. According to law, failure to provide safe housing and proper care is considered to be a form of neglect or abuse. In Illinois, nursing home residents who suffer harm due to unsanitary living conditions have the right to sue for damages through a nursing home abuse lawyer.
According to Illinois and federal laws, nursing home employees and staff can be held liable for neglect if any of the following conditions occur:
- Failure to provide residents with proper shelter
- Failure to assist residents with proper hygiene
- Failure to provide residents with clean or proper clothing
- Failure to protect residents from health and safety hazards
Nursing Home Neglect
The consequences of nursing home neglect can lead to injuries that range from minor to severe, and in some cases, injuries can be life-threatening. Due to the frailty, suppressed immune systems, and declining health of most elderly nursing home residents, unsanitary conditions create a serious health concern. Increased risks of illness and injury are complicated by the fact that many elderly nursing home residents are not able to speak up for their own welfare. Many residents are exploited physically, emotionally and financially.
Medical studies show that unsanitary conditions in nursing homes contribute to illnesses, diseases, and infections. Skin infections, urinary infections, gastrointestinal infections, influenza, and bacterial pneumonia are commonly seen by a nursing home abuse lawyer in residents subjected to unsanitary conditions. Because of deteriorating health, many illnesses and infectious diseases in the elderly are difficult to diagnose. They often manifest first with vague symptoms like loss of appetite, decline in physical abilities, changes in mental health, and incontinence, but progress rapidly to serious illness.
Health studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that sanitation and cleanliness vary significantly between nursing homes across the country. While investigations show that some facilities receive excellent reports in these areas, others show gross negligence and lack of concern for the health and safety of residents. According to CDC reports, common complaints include soiled bedding and clothing, bed bugs and lice, patient bedsores, patient hair loss, patient dehydration, and unclean bathrooms.