It is not a general rule that nursing homes smell bad. However, in some cases, a foul smell may be present due to various reasons such as not being cleaned properly, lack of proper ventilation, or poor hygiene of the residents. Incontinence, soiled linens, and dirty bathrooms can also contribute to bad odors. If a nursing home is understaffed, the staff may not have enough time to keep the facility clean and fresh smelling by removing trash or linen in a timely manner. It's important to note that bad odors can be a sign of neglect or poor care management.
When it comes to giving nursing homes support, finding staff isn’t always feasible. It is much harder to find a nursing aide than it is to alleviate and improve the processes involved in nursing care. Improving logistics of supplies, improving visibility of patients, and providing proactive care can go a long way in reversing the nursing home stigmas.
The top complaints of nursing homes in the US are:
- Staffing issues: One of the most common complaints about nursing homes is a lack of sufficient staffing. This can lead to residents not receiving adequate care, medication errors, and falls.
- Medication errors: Another common complaint is medication errors, such as administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosage.
- Unsanitary conditions: Some nursing homes have been criticized for unsanitary conditions, such as dirty linens, bed sores, and a lack of cleanliness.
- Poor communication: A lack of communication or transparency between staff and families can be a source of complaints about nursing homes.
- Nutrition and Hydration: There have been multiple complaints about the lack of proper nutrition, hydration and feeding.
- Bedsores: Complaints of bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are common in nursing homes as they are a sign of neglect or poor care management.
- Restraints: There have been complaints of nursing homes using physical or chemical restraints on residents without proper authorization or justification.
- Falls: Falls are a common occurrence in nursing homes and can cause serious injuries, complaints often involve inadequate fall prevention measures.
- Privacy and dignity: Many complaints involve lack of privacy and dignity, including residents being left in soiled clothing, not being bathed, or being ignored.
When you breakdown all the caretaking tasks of a staff in a nursing home, there are quite a few ways to implement process improvement to save time, and energy which will ultimately allow caretakers to spend more time giving hands-on care to your loved ones.
Medication errors can be improved with better EMAR technology and safe-stops during medication passes. Poor communication, falls and bedsores can be improved with bedside report and accountability (4 hands are better than 2 when it comes to patient care). Nutrition and hydration can be improved with strategically placed water dispensers and patient carafes. Unsanitary conditions including smells can be improved with use of better odor eliminating products. The use of Diaper Dust allows a caregiver to eliminate the odor in the patient’s room while finishing care. It also gives staff the ability to cluster their duties by taking the trash out all at once, and not just one room at a time. Depending on where the dumpsters are at the facility, the amount of time off the floor would be exponential.
If your loved one is placed in a nursing home, consider supplying a bottle of Diaper Dust for use during their incontinence changes. You never know how much more care your loved one will receive when staff are no longer needing to empty the trash multiple times a day