Nursing homes are important care facilities for older Americans who can no longer live on their own or with family because they require around-the-clock care. Since the facility houses the resident and is responsible for their care and safety, one of their biggest concerns should be preventing the spread of infection. Staff, residents, and visitors can all transmit infections if the proper precautions and cleaning are not taking place in a facility.
Older people are more susceptible to infection because they could have compromised or weakened immune systems. Especially in the time of COVID-19, taking measures to prevent the spread of infections in nursing homes is vital to their health. However, some facilities do not take the necessary precautions, which causes residents to get seriously ill, and in some cases, they can even die.
If your loved one has gotten an infection in their care facility that you believe was the direct result of the facility’s negligence, then you could benefit from talking to a Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will examine your case and determine who was at fault for your loved one’s unnecessary ailments.
Cleaning Measures Nursing Homes Should Take
Nursing home facilities should follow cleaning measures to keep any illnesses or infections from spreading through their residents and staff. There are different levels of cleaning they should keep in mind—daily, weekly, and monthly—to prioritize health in their facility. On a daily basis, nursing or janitorial staff should:
- Sanitize surfaces in common areas that many residents touch
- Sanitize other touchpoints, like doorknobs and light switches
- Vacuum and mop floors
- Move dirty linens to the laundry room
- Clean showers, sinks, and toilets
- Clean dirty dishes
- Take out the trash
On a weekly basis, staff should:
- Disinfect and clean other cloth surfaces, like couches and drapes
- Wipe down windows and other glass surfaces
- Clean doors
Monthly, these measures should be taken:
- Clean walls and baseboards in all rooms—common and private
- Sanitize air vents
- Replace air filters
- Steam clean all carpets
When nursing homes don’t maintain a clean facility, residents and staff are at higher risk for getting sick and spreading their illness throughout the facility. If your loved one is in a facility where cleaning isn’t prioritized, or isn’t done at all, and they get sick as a result, then you could use the help of a Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC. Our experienced attorney will be able to investigate the exact cause of your loved one’s illness, whether it was negligence or intentional abuse, and get them the justice they deserve.
Preventing the Spread of Infection in the Time of COVID-19
In the time of COVID-19, cleaning protocols are similar to what is stated above to prevent the spread of infection, but since the novel coronavirus is more dangerous for the older population, there are some more measures that nursing homes should take to prevent the spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides these guidelines for nursing homes to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in facilities:
- Wear gloves while cleaning
- Clean with soap and water first, then disinfectant
- Disinfect highly touched surfaces multiple times daily
- Use disinfectant with diluted bleach or alcohol to effectively sanitize
- Wash clothes and other linens on warm
- Disinfect clothes hampers
- Clean and sanitize outdoor areas
Other than cleaning, there are some other measures facilities should take to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. According to the CDC, nursing homes should:
- Provide staff with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Regularly evaluate residents and staff for symptoms
- Residents should wear a face covering whenever they leave their rooms
- Visitors should wear a face covering if visitors are allowed at that facility
- Dedicate an isolated area of the facility for residents who test positive
DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC Will Fight for You
Even if the staff of your loved one’s nursing home did not intend to infect your loved one, their negligence could still be the reason that your loved one has contracted an illness that could have been prevented. A nursing home abuse claim could not only get justice for your loved one but could also create change in the facility by holding them accountable.
At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC in Charleston, we know that personal injury claims are complicated, and that’s why we’re here to help you. Reach out to our office today so that we can discuss your potential case and your legal options moving forward.