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Experienced South Carolina Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys Fight for Your Loved One’s Rights
Poor hygiene is a common sign of abuse or neglect
As we age, it becomes more difficult to do things for ourselves. Arthritis may strip our ability to button shirts or zip up our pants, and age or illness-related incontinence is common. Visiting your loved one at a nursing home facility only to discover that suddenly they are showing uncharacteristic signs of poor hygiene would probably cause you more than a little concern. This is especially true if your loved one, whether it’s your wife, husband, mother, or father took care of themselves well in the past.
Sudden changes in hygiene are often signs of nursing home neglect. At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC our experienced team of attorneys, led by Johnny Felder, wants to help if you suspect your loved one is being neglected. With offices throughout South Carolina, we are always nearby to offer counsel, whether your loved one is in a facility in the state, or whether you live here but your loved one lives elsewhere.
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Basic hygiene services provided by nursing home staff
The types of hygiene that nursing homes should be expected to help provide for their residents, when needed, include:
- Routine brushing of the teeth or cleaning of dentures
- Showers or baths
- Washing the hands and face
- Helping with clean up after going to the bathroom
- Changing their dressings and bandages
- Keeping their wound areas free of urine and feces
- Changing and cleaning their linens
- Grooming nails
- Keeping the hair groomed
If you notice this type of care going by the wayside, either by your loved one, or by those caring for your loved one, you may be witnessing evidence of nursing home negligence. Your loved one may exhibit strong body odor or have a disheveled appearance. He or she may have developed bedsores, skin tears, or bruises as further evidence of lack of proper care. These signs of poor hygiene can have serious health consequences that in some cases even lead to death.
If your loved one is suffering health consequences as a result of poor hygiene at a facility, contact law office at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC immediately. A South Carolina nursing home negligence lawyer from our team can look into the situation concerning your loved one and, if necessary, move forward with legal action to recover damages on your behalf.
Recognizing signs of poor hygiene and care
It’s important to recognize the signs that a nursing home facility is falling short in providing proper hygiene for its residents. Nursing home hygiene issues involve not only the hygiene of the residents themselves, but also the cleanliness of the facility. How sanitary is the facility? How often is the laundry taken care of for residents? Are there noticeable levels of dust on objects? Are things put away after use? Areas such as closets, elevators, outdoor patios, kitchen and dining areas should all be looked at and evaluated cleanliness and sanitation.
Indicators of poor hygiene care can include the following:
- Contaminated surfaces
- Dirty or unchanged linens
- Caked on and crusted spills and messes
- Putrid smells
- Residents wearing the same clothing every day
- Residents with dirty or unchanged dressings and bandages
- Employees with an unkempt appearance or poor hygiene
- Residents with inexplicable physical or emotional problems
- Pest problems out of control
- Dangerous hazards or obstacles in areas where residents may roam
When proper standards of cleanliness are not upheld within a nursing home facility, it can have a detrimental effect on the health of the residents. It is the duty of nursing home facilities to adhere to high hospital-standard levels of cleanliness, sanitation, and decontamination in order to safeguard the health of residents.
Unsanitary conditions can lead to more severe consequences for residents
When nursing home employees fail to maintain safe, clean, and healthy living areas for residents, the problem of poor hygiene is only exacerbated. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and dining areas are all prime areas of concern for the buildup of bacteria and the spread of viruses and infections. These areas must be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure the best level of hygiene possible within the facility and for residents.
If proper hygiene is not ensured by nursing home staff, a number of detrimental consequences can result for patients. These include:
- Dangerous and deadly infections
- Open sores and lesions
- Worsening medical problems
- Broken bones
If a nursing home has an understaffed workforce and/or the current staff is overworked, the risk of very important tasks related to maintaining hygiene within the facility and among residents can be easily disregarded. The result will be a lower quality of life for residents with their health and well-being placed in greater jeopardy.
It is vital that nursing home staff be properly trained in how to address and dispose of biological and medical waste. If this is not done properly, infections, disease and other medical issues can increase and spread quickly.
A nursing home facility that has a higher number of staff per resident will generally have a better hygiene rating than facilities having fewer caretakers per resident. Nursing homes with inadequate staffing that also have residents experiencing health incidents due to improper hygiene may be held liable for nursing home negligence or abuse.
Filing a lawsuit for nursing home neglect in South Carolina
Poor hygiene present in a nursing home facility is considered a form of neglect. A nursing home neglect claim may list the failure of staff to maintain a clean and sanitized facility for residents. A poor hygiene lawsuit may reference medical issues that have arisen with your loved one and others as a result of inadequate hygiene processes and procedures. As well, a neglect lawsuit may focus on the nursing home’s failure to hire and train enough staff to properly take care of the resident population.
If your loved one has suffered injury or premature death as a result of improper hygiene at a nursing home facility, filing a lawsuit may be the next appropriate step. An experienced South Carolina nursing home poor hygiene lawyer can evaluate your claim and if necessary, file a lawsuit against the nursing home and any other responsible parties.
In order to avoid liability, the nursing home may claim that the injuries or health conditions suffered by the resident were due to existing medical conditions of the resident and not related to matters of poor hygiene care. For this reason, it is vitally important to document the lack of care received in order to help establish causation.
The final part of a nursing home neglect lawsuit involves determining the amount of compensation you and your loved one are entitled to receive from the defendant. Compensation may include medical expenses associated with the injuries sustained as well as the recovery of damages connected with pain and suffering.
If your loved one has been neglected, our attorney want to help
If you suspect poor hygiene conditions that are leading to the decline of your loved one’s health at a nursing home, it’s important to contact an experienced South Carolina nursing home negligence and abuse lawyer from our team. At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, we understand how to help you obtain the compensation you and your loved one deserve as a result of lack of proper care they have received. To set up a free, no obligation consultation about the situation you and your loved one are facing, call us today at 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form. We serve our clients across South Carolina from offices in Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, Georgetown, Rock Hill, and Sumter.