Elderly persons and their families often turned to nursing home care when performing self care, including administering medication, bathing, going to the bathroom, or preparing and eating food are no longer possible for the elderly person to perform on their own. Indeed, this is precisely why nursing home centers exist: to provide aged and ill persons with a high level of care, and to provide around-the-clock supervision and assistance.
Unfortunately, however, nursing homes are often understaffed, and have more patients than nurses and other staff members are adequately able to care for. As such, not all nursing home residents receive the care they need, and often suffer from myriad symptoms and effects of neglect.
Neglect can be hard for an elderly loved one’s family members to recognize; after all, the signs and effects of neglect often take longer to fully develop, whereas abuse typically has more immediate signs. One sign of neglect that family members should keep an eye out for both when selecting a nursing home for an elderly person, and after admitting a loved one into a nursing home, includes odors of feces and urine.
NURSING HOM NEGLECT AND LACK OF PROPER RESIDENT HYGIENE
Many nursing home residents lack mobility, which means that moving from one room to another, or from a bed to an accessible toilet, can be impossible to do on their own. The same is true for bathing – a large majority of nursing home residents require assistance when performing any type of self care, including all tasks related to personal hygiene. While it can be very embarrassing for an elderly person, it is simply a fact that using the restroom on one’s own is not always possible, and as such the elderly person may require frequent assistance, and may require the use adult diapers.
The problem arises when there is an inadequate number of nursing home nurses and other staff members to provide elderly persons with the assistance and level of care they need. The urge to need the restroom is completely predictable and understandable, and cannot be prevented. What’s more, many elderly persons do not have bowel or bladder control. This means that nursing home staff members need to be frequently checking on residents to see if a restroom is needed, or to change undergarments and provide hygienic services.
If staff is overburdened with residents’ needs, some nursing home patients may go hours–or in the worst of cases, a day or more–without receiving the assistance that they need. This not only contributes to an odor of feces and urine, but can also be very uncomfortable for the elderly person, and can lead to adult diaper rash. Furthermore, leaving someone who does not have an ability to take action otherwise sitting in their own urine or feces is downright cruel. And at the offices of the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm LLC, we believe the act is completely unacceptable.