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If a nursing home isn't sanitary, illnesses could spread easily

When you place someone you love into a nursing home, it's your expectation that they will receive the appropriate care that they need. In flu season, and at times when there may be the risk of passing an illness from one resident or worker to another, you would hope that sanitation would be of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, if a communicable illness is found in a nursing home, it can quickly impact many patients.

In nursing homes that have been hit by viruses spreading, patients may feel even more isolated than they already are. The staff may seem almost alien, requiring intensive personal protective equipment to walk into a room. Even opening that door may make some worry that they're exposing themselves to a virus or illness.

It's important for nursing homes to take proactive steps when communicable diseases are present. They should:

  • Limit the number of people coming into the facility
  • Screen workers for symptoms at the start of each shift
  • Keep an eye on residents and note any symptoms, quarantining those who fall ill or who have signs of infection

Safety is vital in cases where a disease may easily spread, but knowing how to stay safe is another issue entirely. For some, wearing masks or using extra sanitizer may be enough. For others, getting more fresh air into the room and using UV sanitation techniques may be helpful.

As someone who loves a person in a nursing home, there are steps you should take if there is an illness around that could affect your loved one. One of the first things to ask is how the facility will handle an outbreak of any kind. Will patients be quarantined? How will their loved ones be able to see them? What steps will be taken to contain an outbreak if it does occur? Does the staff have adequate personal protective equipment, so that they don't accidently infect or reinfect people in the facility?

When illnesses are around you, it can be scary to be in a confined space like a nursing home. Do your research, so you make sure that the facility is prepared.

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