Incontinence - Hygiene

Incontinence issues are an important area of care in nursing homes. But unfortunately, many skilled nursing facilities do not respect and adequately care for those with incontinence. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, our nursing home negligence attorneys are practiced in fighting for those who have received substandard care and sustained injuries in their nursing homes.

Ensuring good personal hygiene and having a hygienic environment are important for those who suffer from incontinence. If a patient becomes wet or soiled before they get to the toilet, the nursing home staff must quickly clean them up to ensure proper hygiene is maintained. If the resident is capable to wash oneself, nursing staff should respect their independence and help them to wash with mild soap and warm water and to pat dry using a soft towel. Disposable wipes or gentle washcloths may be used for minor accidents. Incontinence pads, clothes or bedding should be changed in a timely fashion. Nursing homes should pay close attention to their staff’s frequency and manner of skin cleansing so that their residents feel clean and comfortable.

Without adequate staffing levels, however, the facility cannot provide proper care or treatment and maintain hygiene for its incontinent residents. This is important because it is integral to maintaining a patient’s dignity in an uncomfortable situation. But hygiene is also vital to health and wellbeing. The elderly have more sensitive and fragile skin. When patients are not cleaned promptly after any incontinent incidents, the time lapse can cause damage to already fragile skin. Lack of hygiene in incontinent patients can lead to the development of skin rashes and even pressure sores. Such conditions are commonly much more difficult to treat and cure than to prevent, not to mention being very painful for the resident. An unhygienic environment can also greatly increase the risk of infection. Therefore, it is necessary that a sufficient number of staff is available at all times to respond immediately to the needs of all incontinent residents. Hygiene is very important for preserving the health of nursing home residents. Staff need to be aware of the needs of incontinent patients and ensure that their hygiene is monitored and maintained. Failure to do so because of understaffing or lack of training is a direct violation of patient’s rights. These rights are covered by Health and Safety Codes and infringements are actionable under the law.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering any of the complications discussed above as a result of his or her facility’s failure to provide proper incontinence care, please contact us immediately. Our attorneys are nursing home neglect experts with successful track records, and are prepared to help you fight against such abuses. Come see us for a free consultation to discuss what legal action we can take on behalf of you and your loved one.