Bed bugs can become an issue for anyone, even nursing home residents. These “public health pests” as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refers to them, often travel from one place to the next by attaching to clothing, furniture, or even boxes. Given the size of these insects, they do have the ability to hide in small spaces and remain inconspicuous.
Once bed bugs are introduced to a new area such as a nursing home, they can easily travel from room to room making it even more difficult to prevent them from reproducing and spreading.
Common Places Bed Bugs Hide
Once bed bugs have made it into a nursing home, the Mayo Clinic says these insects can often be found in the following areas:
- Clutter near the bed
- Under peeling paint
- In upholstered furniture seams
- Under light switch plates or electrical outlets
Are bed bugs a health concern?
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says bed bugs are not known to spread disease, they can cause an aging individual to suffer from one or more health conditions if they are bitten. For instance, the EPA says an individual might experience any of the following symptoms after being bitten by bed bugs:
- Allergic reactions. Bed bugs affect people in different ways. While some may have no reaction at all, others could go into anaphylaxis shock. Although anaphylaxis is a rare reaction to a bed bug bite, it is possible for a person to experience a severe allergic reaction to it. When anaphylaxis is not treated immediately, it can cause an individual to go into shock and lead to a fatal outcome.
- Secondary infections. After an individual is bitten by a bed bug, they might experience a secondary infection such as impetigo, ecthyma, or lymphangitis. If an individual does develop an infection and it is left untreated, it could lead to more serious health issues.
- Mental health impact. The EPA says some individuals who are living with bed bugs might experience anxiety, insomnia, and/or systemic reactions.
How can I tell if there are bed bugs in the nursing home my loved one is living in?
You may be able to tell if bed bugs are present by looking for physical signs in your loved one’s living area or even on their skin. Some of the physical signs that might appear when bed bugs are present include:
- Rusty or reddish stains might show up on bed sheets or mattresses. If your relative’s sheets are washed regularly, you may not notice these as easily, however, if your loved one is living in a home where their needs aren’t tended to frequently, these signs may be more obvious. In the event you have a relative living in a Chicago nursing home, and you have noticed signs that point to neglect, you can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. to discuss this with one of our Chicago, IL nursing home neglect attorneys.
- Dark spots on fabric. Bed bugs sometimes leave dark spots on fabric if they are squished or bleed onto it.
- Dark spots around outlets or underneath a mattress.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the signs that might appear on an individual who is living with bed bugs include:
- Red spots with a darker red spot in the middle.
- The individual might complain of being itchy.
- The red spots might appear in an arranged line or even in a cluster.
- You may notice these spots on a person’s neck, arms, hands, or face.
What to do when you notice signs of bed bugs in a nursing home?
If you think bed bugs are present in your loved one’s nursing home, you should bring this to the attention of an administrator immediately so the issue can be addressed. Generally, bed bugs can be removed with the proper pest management, however, there are other steps health care workers can take to gain control of the situation.
Important: If you think the nursing home your loved one is living in is performing below state or federal standards, you can report the home to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
When to Contact a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer in Chicago, IL
When a nursing home fails to address an issue or subjects a resident to abuse or neglect, you should then consider contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer. The attorneys at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. can assess the situation and determine what needs to be done to get it resolved. In the event your loved one is not only being neglected but you think staff members may be mistreating him/her, we can help you to take the necessary legal action to hold the home and workers accountable for their behavior.
If you would like to schedule a time to speak with one of our Chicago, IL nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers, contact us at 1-312-384-1920.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601