Bakersfield-Infections in Assisted Living Facilities
Infection Prevention Among Residents in Assisted Living Facilities
Bakersfield is a populous city that is known for being a regional transportation hub with its close proximity to popular mountain passes. The city currently has 14 assisted living facilities serving its older adult population. The Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer, Ben Yeroushalmi, and his associate attorneys and support staff are dedicated to helping older adults who are victims of abuse or neglect obtain the vindication they deserve.
Bakersfield assisted living facilities provide a source of housing and care to those needing assistance with activities of daily living, as well as increasing medical attention. These residents are often elderly individuals who are vulnerable to poor health outcomes if not given the best quality of care. As the older adult population continues to grow in the United States, so does the aging population in assisted living facilities. Not surprisingly, it has become increasingly harder for nursing staff in these facilities to meet the medical needs of their residents, while also ensuring their protection from avoidable infections and disease outbreaks.
Although these long-term care facilities do not typically provide the intensity of care that is provided in skilled nursing homes, a substantial volume of medical care is routinely provided at Bakersfield assisted living facilities (ALFs). An increasing percentage of residents in ALFs are in need of assistance with managing their medications, which are often very complex regimens that must be done on a daily basis. Moreover, many of these residents also battle with lifelong medical conditions, such as dementia and diabetes, and need close monitoring.
Elder abuse attorney Ben Yeroushalmi and his team believe that Bakersfield ALF staff is responsible for meeting its residents’ medical needs with practices that avoid infection transmission and other negative events that can be deleterious to the health of its residents. However, incidences of infectious disease outbreaks in these facilities occur far too often. For example, between 2008 and 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 13 incidences of hepatitis B virus infection outbreaks occurred in ALFs. A significant majority of these outbreaks were related to assisted monitoring of blood glucose among elderly residents with diabetes. Unethical diabetes care practices that public health investigators recurrently identified included utilizing the same fingerstick devices for multiple residents (and failing to use single-use, auto-disabling devices) and using the same blood-contaminated glucose meters among residents.
The CDC also reported a number of respiratory and gastrointestinal illness outbreaks in ALFs, emphasizing the importance of staff following infection prevention standards, such as hand hygiene practices, proper environmental cleaning practices, and correct operation of employee personal protective equipment. Furthermore, surveys of assisted living facilities have shown that ALF staff often does not meet the standards of infection control practices and policies, such as failing to enforce or follow the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and failing to require staff with direct resident care obligations to be given infection control training. In addition, the annual turnover rates for resident caregivers in ALFs can reach nearly 40%, presenting additional complications to promoting infection control training among assisted living staff.
Protecting assisted living facility residents from healthcare related infections is a challenging task that many ALFs are unable to handle. The attorneys and experts at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are aware that Bakersfield ALFs cannot always guarantee that their staff is sufficiently educated and trained to successfully meet the needs of its residents. If your or a loved one’s health or overall wellbeing has been threatened due to inadequate care provided by Bakersfield assisted living facility staff, contact our office today for a free consultation.