Relaxing in a bed with freshly washed sheets is something we often take for granted. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, however, they may not get the same treatment. While younger generations may find unwashed sheets merely unpleasant, nursing home residents are at high risk for illness and infection.
Because our bedsheets collect hair, dead skin cells, oil from skin and hair and bodily fluids, they need to be washed on a regular basis. Keep an eye on the bedsheets and linens next time you visit your loved one’s nursing home—they may be causing or exacerbating health issues.
Why are clean linens so important?
Bed linens may absorb bodily fluids and waste, but they can also be a haven for bacteria, yeast, dust, mold and other allergens. While you would expect a medical facility to understand the importance of hygiene, that’s not always the case.
One 2018 study found that visibly unclean linens were present in a third of hospitals studied. Worse, the Mucorales fungus was found in a fifth of the treatment centers they visited. Mucormycosis is “a life-threatening infection by fungi of the order Mucorales,” and has a 50 percent mortality rate.
Nursing home residents are particularly susceptible to illness and infection. Maintaining a sterile environment is crucial to their health. Many patients suffer from open wounds, like bedsores; dirty bedsheets are a prime opportunity to introduce bacterial infection. Toxic fungus or bacteria notwithstanding, dirty linens can also worsen allergies and respiratory illness.
What to do about dirty nursing home linens
Whether you visit in person or talk on the phone, ask your loved one how often their bedsheets are changed. If they appear visibly soiled or you suspect they haven’t been changed frequently enough, you can start by addressing your concerns with the staff.
If you don’t see a change or the resident’s condition has suddenly worsened, talk to the Law Offices of Tim Misny. Failing to change bedsheets regularly puts residents at risk, and may be evidence of nursing home abuse. Our firm will review your case and provide advice about what to do next, whether that includes monitoring the situation or moving your loved one and filing a claim immediately.
Providing clean linen is one of the lowest standards possible, yet many nursing homes fail to meet that criterion. Whenever you’re concerned about your loved one’s accommodations, our firm can help.
Contact me for help with nursing home abuse
Nursing home abuse is common throughout Ohio, but we can work to hold the home responsible. When it comes to negligent healthcare providers, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877-614-9524 today for more information.