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Protecting Your Loved Ones in Nursing Homes

If you have a loved one in a Boston nursing home, it’s important to check on them regularly to assess their health. Elderly nursing home residents are vulnerable to a variety of health problems, as well as nursing home neglect and abuse. If you suspect signs of neglect or abuse, you should contact a boston personal injury law firm right away.

According to American Academy of Family Physicians research data, elderly nursing home residents are at a high risk of contracting illnesses and infectious diseases. Complications from these illnesses and diseases often result in chronic pain, various injuries, long-term disabilities, a higher risk of hospitalization, and even death.

Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that elderly nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases. Infectious diseases can spread rapidly in nursing home environments and diagnosis in elderly residents is often difficult due to existing problems and deteriorating health. Residents often display vague symptoms including incontinence, loss of appetite, a decline in physical abilities, and significant changes in cognitive functions. Common infectious diseases include:

Skin Infections

Due to fragile skin, slow healing, and poor hygiene, elderly adults often experience skin problems like itching, lesions, bruising, and tenderness. However, more serious skin infections are commonly spread in nursing homes. Cellulitis, bed sores, herpes zoster (shingles), and bacterial or fungal infections of the feet caused by diabetes can lead to serious illness and even death if left untreated. Staph infections which are often drug resistant are common in nursing homes.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are one of the most common types of bacterial infections seen in nursing homes. Since many elderly residents rely on catheters or have diabetes, the risk for urinary tract infections is very high. Attention to good hygiene, clean equipment, and proper medication is essential by nursing home staff and caregivers.

Influenza and Pneumonia

Sneezing and coughing causes influenza to spread quickly in nursing homes. A major flu epidemic can break out within a short period of time. Bacterial pneumonia is also common due to chronic respiratory illness and compromised immune systems in elderly residents. Cases of bacterial pneumonia are often misdiagnosed because of vague symptoms like fatigue, chills, and coughing.

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