Signs or Symptoms of Abuse or Neglect
Poor Hygiene, Smell of Urine or Feces
Soiled clothing and bedding and/or unkempt personal appearance are signs that staff may be neglecting the patient’s bathing and/or grooming needs. As elders age and become demented, they are at increased risk for incontinence. It is important that a nursing facility implement a toileting schedule in an attempt to keep the patient continent for as long as possible. If a facility is placing diapers on your loved one before he is determined to be incontinent, that may be simply for the convenience of the staff. Under federal regulations a facility is required to provide sufficient staff to meet the resident’s total care needs. 42 C.F.R. 483.30 (nursing services). Patients that have the ability to control their urine output should not be placed in a situation where they are forced to urinate on themselves, even if they have a diaper on.
Where patients have clothes that are soaked by urine or feces, that condition will increase the risk of skin breakdown and infection. Repeated failures can point to a corporate failure in allocating sufficient staffing and may correlate with higher rates for pressure sore and infections.
Facilities may also resort to catheterizing patients because its easier to manage and measure their urine output. Federal regulations require that any patient who enters the facility without an indwelling catheter is not catheterized unless the resident’s clinical condition demonstrates that catherization was necessary. Catheterization will significantly increase a patient’s risk for UTIs and other complications.