The high population density at most nursing homes makes them somewhat dangerous for residents. When there are a lot of people in a small space, illnesses can pass quickly from one person to another. Infestations are also a concern, as pests thrive when there are many hosts to take advantage of.
Those who work at nursing homes should do their best to prevent the spread of both infections and pests from one resident to another and one room to another. Unfortunately, especially in nursing homes with low staff-to-resident ratios and lax hiring practices, illnesses and infestations may spread rapidly, possibly endangering the lives of the facility’s most vulnerable residents.
Poor sanitation and lack of equipment can cause issues
When there simply are not enough people working at a nursing home to meet the needs of all of the residents consistently, staff members may end up spread too thin to fulfill all of their routine job responsibilities. Cleaning up spaces and sanitizing in between each resident or separate room may take a back seat to just doing the bare minimum for each resident because of a lack of time and support. Many facilities won’t provide enough equipment to allow workers to truly sanitize and clean between rooms, which could ultimately result in them taking pathogens or pests from one space to another.
There are many health issues that could spread through understaffing and negligent sanitation practices at a nursing home. Residents at nursing homes could end up sickened because of:
- bacterial infections
- fungal infections like candida auris
- bed bugs
Recently, the fungal infection candida auris has been a focal point for nursing home safety, as this deadly infection spreads quickly among immunocompromised adults. Thankfully, thus far, there have not been any reported cases in Rhode Island in 2023.
In scenarios involving pests as opposed to infections, while the actual damage inflicted by the animals may be minimal, they could lead to someone getting hurt because of an infection or because they fall while trying to clean themselves or address their discomfort.
The rapid spread of illness and pests in a nursing home is generally preventable when a solid standard of care and proper investment in the facility are honored. Seeking legal guidance and pursuing a nursing home negligence plan could be one way to start motivating a business to change any practices that endanger the residents at its facilities.