Nursing homes are environments that have multiple, at-risk individuals who may have compromised immune systems due to age or other pre-existing medical conditions. In other words, nursing homes and similar facilities are a perfect environment for the spread of infestations such as lice and scabies.
When quickly and properly treated, both of these infestations may wind up reduced to little more than a source of irritation and discomfort. While lice may not pose any significant, long-term health risks, untreated scabies can cause serious physical injuries and possibly fatal infections.
If there have been reported cases of scabies at a nursing home, staff should make every effort to clean the facility and to prevent the spread of scabies while also giving adequate treatment and care to those dealing with an infestation.
Scabies can reproduce quickly and cause secondary health issues
While lice can cause itching and irritation, scabies can cause tissue damage and significant infections. Because they don’t just nibble on the scalp but instead often burrow under the skin of infested humans, scabies can create significant risk for those who can’t clean themselves or leave a facility with a current infestation. In extreme cases, people have died of secondary infections and medical issues caused by untreated scabies, as documented in this horrifying Washington Post article.
If your loved one has a scabies infestation and if staff members have not taken adequate steps to resolve it, you may need to seek better care for your loved one. In some cases, you may be able to hold a nursing home with negligent maintenance, cleanliness and treatment practices responsible for the medical costs you incur while treating an infestation that developed in their care and moving your loved one to a new facility.