When you and your family decided that a nursing home was a good option for your elderly parent, you probably did so with the assumption that the nursing home would provide him or her with good care. For example, you might have noticed that your parent was unable to take baths, change clothes and otherwise take proper care of himself or herself.
Unfortunately, there is a chance that your loved one's nursing home is not providing this care, either. If this is the case, it is important to take proper action, such as by talking to nursing home staff or even hiring a nursing home neglect attorney. These are a few signs that your mom or dad is not getting the hygiene-related care that he or she needs and deserves.
1. Stained or Dirty Clothing
Many nursing home patients spill food or drinks or have "accidents," so their clothing needs to be changed frequently. Don't let a nursing home staff member blame your parent for dirty or stained clothing -- it is the nursing home's responsibility to change this clothing regularly, no matter how often spills or accidents might occur.
2. Unpleasant Odor
Most nursing homes refrain from using heavily-fragranced soaps, shampoos, colognes and perfumes since many patients can be allergic to these products. Therefore, you shouldn't be looking for a strong "clean" smell when trying to determine if your parent is being properly cared for. Instead, you should ensure that your loved one does not have any body odor, "bathroom" odor or bad breath.
3. Genital Issues
Has your parent been diagnosed with a yeast infection, diaper rash or other similar issue? Although it isn't uncommon for this to happen every now and then, these issues should not be a regular occurrence. If they are, there is a chance that your loved one is not being properly cared for in this area.
4. Lack of Scheduled Bathing Time
Ask your elderly parent about bathing time; if he or she can't remember the last time that a bath was given or cannot tell you about a regular schedule, there might be a cause for concern, as long as dementia and other similar issues aren't at play. You can also ask a supervisor about how often your loved one is being bathed. Patients who are bound to their beds should be bathed daily, or more often as needed.
Ensuring that your loved one is getting proper care in the nursing home is very important. If you notice any of these four signs that your mom or dad is not being provided with proper hygienic care, or if you have other suspicions, it could be a good idea to hire a nursing home neglect attorney to get to the bottom of the problem. Contact a lawyer with a firm like Large & Associates Attorneys if you have specific questions about this area of law.