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Are Nursing Home Residents at a Higher Risk of Infection?

We are still living in unprecedented times as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ripple throughout society. Some of our most vulnerable community members have weaker immune systems like young children, people with auto-immune diseases, and the elderly. If you are the loved one or caregiver of an elderly family member in a nursing home, knowing the facts about their risk of infection may help you see any warning signs of infection. 

The trial lawyers at Dalli & Marino know how important keeping your loved ones safe is to you. With about one to three million nursing home residents falling victim to serious infections each year, the risk is very high. 

What Puts Nursing Home Residents At High Risk for Infection?

As we grow older and have lived a fulfilled life, our bodies can get tired out and be less apt to protect us from protection. Being in a nursing home poses several risk factors for infection, but the following are some of the most common:

Age

Age is just a number, but when it comes to our health, age can be a harrowing factor in our increased risk for severe infection, especially in a nursing home. Immunosenescence is another word for the changes to our immune system as we get older. In other words, as we age, our immune system has less ability to fight off infection and disease and can even become more resistant to vaccinations. With more than half of nursing home residents being over the age of 85 years old, this population of people can be more susceptible to this risk factor. 

Comorbidity

Most individuals are admitted into a nursing home when their condition has worsened to the point where they require the care of round-the-clock nurses and doctors. Comorbidity is defined as the presence of multiple acute or chronic diseases or medical conditions at one time. Because many nursing homes suffer from comorbidity or multiple diseases or conditions at once, their defenses may be down, making it hard for their bodies to fight off infection.

Close Living Conditions

Living in a nursing home likely means sharing a room with another resident. Just as you can get sick from your spouse or children at home, the same goes for nursing home residents living in the same areas and frequenting the same facilities. 

What are Common Infections in Nursing Homes?

Infections can affect anyone, but for nursing home residents, it is a much higher risk. The following are common infections found in many nursing home residents:

  • Skin infections
  • Soft-tissue infections
  • Diarrheal diseases
  • Respiratory infections
  • Urinary tract infections

Any of these infections will require medical care to recover, so ensure your loved one is getting the care they need at the nursing home. 

How to Prevent Infections in Nursing Homes

While infection is common in nursing homes, there are preventative measures to make sure your loved one stays as healthy as possible. While nursing homes are required to implement infection control measures, this is a list of preventative measures to look for when deciding whether or not a facility is the safest for your family member:

  • Hold infection control committee meetings
  • Employ a professional infection preventionist
  • Enforce strict hygiene protocol
  • Implement electronic health records
  • Implement antibiotic stewardship to track how often antibiotics are prescribed and taken by residents

If you find that the nursing home your loved one is a resident of neglects their duty to provide adequate infection prevention, consult with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer from Dalli & Marino. 

Seek Help From New York Trial Lawyers

No one wants to consider the possibility that their loved ones could be neglected or abused in a nursing home. After all, they are meant to be protected from infection, disease, and especially abuse in these facilities. The reality is that an estimated 5 million older adults experience abuse each year in the care of nursing home staff. 

The talented team at Dalli & Marino has extensive experience helping victims of nursing home abuse in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. To provide personalized legal representation and gain the best possible compensation for damages your loved ones may have suffered, you can trust you are in good hands with Dalli & Marino. Contact us today for a free case evaluation or call (888) 465-8790.


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