Soiled bedding is potentially dangerous for people of any age. For the elderly, unclean bed linen can threaten health in serious and deadly ways. Soiled bedding in nursing homes can be exceptionally dangerous for every resident there and may be a cause of action for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Bed sheets absorb our sweat, skin oil, dead skin cells and bodily fluids including blood, urine and fecal matter. There are also microscopic bugs known as dust mites in the average bed. The combination makes soiled bedding a highly dangerous source of infections and allergens. People with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to developing serious health problems that can result in respiratory issues, amputation or death.
Pillows can be a haven for mold, yeast, and bacteria to flourish. These can cause diarrhea, asthma or bronchitis. Mold is a particularly dangerous organism that can lead to fungal infections or a condition known as mycotoxin toxicity that can be deadly.
The Danger of Soiled Bed Sheets & Adult Diapers In Elder Care Facilities
If you see soiled bed sheets or adult diapers in an elder care facility such as a nursing home, it’s an issue of great concern. Not only does it indicate that there is a clear danger of infection or worse, but it’s also a sign of staff negligence that can take many other forms.
Negligent nursing home employees are paid to ensure the elderly are maintained in hygienic conditions. Forcing someone to live in soiled clothing or beds is abusive. If allowed to persist, it’s quite possible someone can die.
Promote Proper Hygiene In Nursing Homes
According to the Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, “infections are very common in the setting of long-term care facilities and represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality among institutionalized elderly individuals.” Once begun, infections can spread rapidly: residents live in close proximity to one another, and most activities take place among groups. For this reason, maintaining proper hygiene is one of the necessary services that nursing homes and assisted living facilities can provide to their residents.
Vigilance of nursing home operations is key to avoiding something terrible happening to your loved one or others. Visit the nursing home often and ask questions like you would any other time you are the consumer of a highly priced service. Ask questions such as:
- How often are bed sheets washed?
- How often is the pillow washed?
- Is your loved one’s adult diaper changed after each bowel movement?
Bed sheets should be washed daily for people who are sick or medically vulnerable. Sheets and pillow cases should be washed at least once a week for others. Pillows should be washed every six months. If the staff can’t tell you when your loved one’s pillow was last washed, request a new, unused pillow.
Inform the nursing home staff of conditions that you find unacceptable and demand changes. Follow up on your next visit. Were your wishes followed? Are your loved one’s sheets clean?
Failure of the staff to comply with reasonable hygienic standards means it’s time to elevate the matter. The nursing home staff’s unwillingness or inability to meet your loved one’s most basic needs is simply too dangerous.
Soiled Bed Sheets & Adult Diapers In Elder Care Facilities
But what happens when nursing home employees are negligent in their duties? What can you do when residents are left without assistance in cleaning themselves and forced to live in unhygienic conditions?
Unwashed bed sheets dramatically increase the likelihood of bed sores, a tragic and painful side effect of the often unavoidable immobility of many elderly loved ones. They also promote the spread of infections which, needless to say, can be life-threatening.
Contact Us About A Nursing Home Lawsuit
Are the hygienic conditions in your loved one’s nursing home unacceptable? Have you tried to work with the nursing home staff, but were ignored? We can help with that.
If your loved one’s level of care is below an acceptable level and they have suffered an injury, you can make that elder care facility pay.