Even if a nursing home manages to keep their premises as clean as possible, the fact that there are so many elderly people congregating under one roof and many with infections and ailments to contend with, there is little wonder that there is an ever-present health threat.
Not every nursing home owner is as diligent and cautious in their approach to caring for their residents as they could be and as you will see from the article linked, it can have disastrous consequences.
We are definitely not saying that all nursing homes exercise a lack of care in their duty but it certainly makes sense to be aware of the potentially contagious diseases that can affect many residents when it takes hold and can result in the nursing home actually making your loved one sick as a result.
One of the most common complaints aimed at a number of nursing homes is the fact that they can be overcrowded.
Facilities that house large numbers of elderly residents who are often in very close contact with each other on a daily basis through spending time in the restaurant and recreational facilities, offer the ideal environment for germs and diseases to spread very quickly.
Communicable diseases are not very discriminating when it comes to passing themselves around between people and these contagious infections are often caused by germs such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites.
The simple act of basic interaction between people through touching, breathing, eating, drinking or kissing someone else can all act as a catalyst for spreading diseases around and potentially infecting all the residents of a nursing home, if it is not contained or prevented in the first place.
Most Contagious Diseases
A common problem in nursing homes is the occurrence of an infection that leads to many residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, to suffer from diarrhea as a result.
Both bacterial and viral diarrhea infections have the ability to expose elderly people to some serious health problems and can even lead to death. Infectious viral conditions known as Noroviruses cause inflammation in the lining of the stomach which subsequently can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Other notable contagious diseases include Clostridium Difficile, which is an infection that causes severe watery diarrhea, and E.coli as well Salmonella.
There are a number of daily routines and initiatives that can be carried out by the nursing home to prevent diseases spreading amongst residents.
The facility needs to be regularly cleaned and communal surfaces regularly sterilized. Residents and staff should be up to date with all their vaccinations and if a resident becomes sick, it is important that they are quarantined if possible, or their exposure to common areas and other residents is restricted on a temporary basis.
Basic measures such as frequent hand washing are not only good practice on an ongoing basis but they will help to avoid a contagious disease taking hold. Some states require the nursing home operator to report any outbreaks of disease. This needs to be adhered to for public health purposes.
Long-term care often involves looking after loved ones who are already fragile and elderly, so it is vital that they are protected as much as possible from the risk of infection.
GUEST BLOGGER: Len Haberman, Esq., has devoted his life to defending victims of nursing home and assisted living facility neglect. An experienced attorney, he enjoys sharing his insights with others. You can read his eye-opening posts on many websites and blogs today.