Nursing homes should protect residents from spreading pests

Head lice are tiny insects commonly associated with daycare centers and elementary schools. Children who get in close proximity or who trade articles of clothing can quickly spread these obnoxious, biting insects to their friends and classmates.

Although people usually associate lice with young children, these insects can attack people of any age. Those living in close quarters with others, especially in high population density places, like nursing homes, may have higher risk than many others for lice and other infestations.

Still, while these bugs may thrive in certain locations, managing them is possible with proper care.

There are multiple infestations that can occur in nursing homes

Headlice are only one of many kinds of insects that use the human body or discarded parts of the human body for nourishment. Bedbugs will also bite humans because they survive on blood.

There are also scabies to think about. These bugs will burrow under the human skin, causing discomfort. They can be dangerous too, as an infestation of scabies left unchecked could lead to severe or even fatal secondary infections any of these investigations could have negative consequences for those with compromised immune systems. Even if they don’t pose immediate health concerns, infestations in nursing homes drastically reduce someone’s quality of life.

How can nursing homes help?

The simplest way for nursing homes to address infestations is to keep a close eye on the residents. As soon as staff members noticed scabies, lice or bed bugs, they should report the issue to management and co-workers.

When the facility knows an infestation has started, they can begin proactive cleaning and treatment protocols to prevent it from spreading. Proper cleaning of spaces and repeated laundering of fabrics may be necessary. Individuals affected by the infestation may require treatments.

Staff members should use enhanced hygiene protocols when entering and exiting a room where an infestation has recently occurred. When they fail to do so, they could spread the pests to other residents, possibly causing medical complications.

When an individual’s infestation goes untreated or an infestation spreads through a nursing home unchecked, that can be an indicator that there isn’t enough staff to properly care for the residents and that your loved one could be the victim of inadequate care. Identifying warning signs of nursing home neglect can help you be a better advocate for your vulnerable loved one.