As per the latest estimates, nursing homes offer services to more than three million Americans every year. In most cases, senior nursing homes offer treatment and care that elderly adults can no longer receive at their homes. But, there are a few unseen dangers in senior nursing homes that can lead to deadly consequences and the most common among them is the risk of various infections. Some of these infections are routine, but when seniors are involved, the infection rate can be very high. Also, the symptoms of these infections can be difficult to distinguish from the normal behavior of seniors, like appetite loss, urinary incontinence, falling, etc.
As per many experts in senior care, some of the most common infections seen in senior nursing homes are urinary tract infections, MRSA Infuenza, and staph infection.
These are bacterial infections that can be much more difficult to diagnose. In younger people, UTIs can result in pain during urinating. But this is not the case with seniors. In seniors, UTIs can lead to incontinence, changes in behavior, worsening dementia symptoms, and confusion. These infections are prevalent in seniors due to the use of catheters and not having enough water. Antibiotics will be usually required by seniors with which UTIs are detected.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a type of skin infection. It occurs when the bacteria enters the body via a cut or sore on the skin. This bacteria can also be introduced into the body of a senior patient via catheters, breathing tubes, etc. MRSA infection is resistant to antibiotics and can pose a serious threat to seniors, especially when it becomes a blood infection. When MRSA infection is serious, it can have symptoms like high fever, headache, skin rashes, chills, and fatigue. If the MRSA infection is serious, the patient might need oxygen and IV medications together with other treatments depending on the presence of any comorbidities.
This is yet another infection that can be dangerous to seniors. The weakened immune system and other health issues in seniors can cause the illness to become worse and may even lead to pneumonia. Usually, the symptoms will include chills, cough, and high fever, but all seniors might not show these symptoms. In senior nursing homes, influenza infection can be especially problematic as it can spread easily via coughing and sneezing.
Different types of infections are common in nursing homes and without proper and swift care, they can be deadly to your senior loved ones. If you feel that your senior loved one in a nursing home is acting strangely, you should let the nursing staff know immediately so that they can take the necessary measures.