There are many types of neglect and abuse in Kentucky nursing homes. Many things that you may not even think of as being abusive can have serious negative consequences for elderly patients. One issue that families of nursing home patients should be aware of is the lack of proper oral care in some nursing homes and assisted care facilities.

Sub-Standard Oral Care for Elderly Patients

Oral care is very important for everyone, including elderly patients. A lack of proper oral hygiene and care can result in harmful conditions for a nursing home patient. Some patients could be at an increased risk for a stroke, heart disease, and pneumonia from poor oral care. Evidence showing a relationship between poor oral health and systemic illness is growing. Oral care is no longer thought of as independent of general overall health. Even patients who have dentures should have a routine for gum care.

Why Are Nursing Home Patients Suffering from Poor Oral Care?

The problem stems from several different factors. First, some nursing home residents lack the mobility or mental capacity to perform daily oral care. For patients who do brush their teeth, they may not spend enough time brushing their teen or use good brushing habits. While some people believe “something is better than nothing,” this belief is not always true when it comes to oral health. Good oral health requires daily brushing of at least two minutes focusing on the entire mouth, not just one section. Many patients simply don’t give this level of attention to their oral care on their own.

Another problem is related to staff members. Some staff members don’t view oral care as a priority in nursing homes. Whether this attitude stems from a lack of training and education or a lack of concern, the result is the same. Residents are not receiving assistance from staff with their oral care.  The consequence of this neglect is poor oral hygiene that can lead to more serious health conditions.

Another problem that can lead to poor oral health is the lack of routine dental screenings. Many nursing homes don’t have routine oral screenings by dentists. Dental checkups should be a regular part of a nursing home patient’s care. Dentists can identify signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral problems that may be treated with minor treatments if identified early. By providing proper oral care, staff members can help avoid unnecessary discomfort and pain for their patients in addition to protecting long-term health and well-being.

Do You Believe Your Loved One Is Being Neglected?

The sad truth is that many nursing home patients are neglected. Neglect can be as devastating and serious as abuse. Your loved one deserves to be treated with dignity and to have a high standard of care. If the nursing home is neglecting your loved one, you have the right to report this neglect and pursue legal options to hold the nursing home responsible for any damages.

To discuss your case in detail, call the Shelton Law Group at 1-888-761-7204 or use the online contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Louisville nursing home abuse attorney. We don’t charge you for your first visit because we believe everyone should have the opportunity to seek sound legal advice without worrying about how to pay for an initial consultation.