A resident at the Community Nursing and Rehab Center in Naperville, Illinois was humiliated and distressed when she was told that she would no longer be permitted to use the toilet to empty her bladder and instead would have to urinate in her diaper. In addition to the embarrassment, this policy creates an environment where bed sores and other infections are much more likely to occur.
The Community Nursing and Rehab Center resident was one of 56 in the 153 bed facility that the nursing home labeled as occasionally or frequently incontinent of bladder. The nursing home was claiming that over half (31) of these residents were on bladder or bowel “toileting programs.” However, when confronted by Illinois Nursing Home Inspectors, the Naperville, Illinois facility was only able to provide a list with 13 names on it.
If you ask one of the Certified Nurses Assistants (CNA) at the Community Nursing and Rehab Center, I imagine they would tell you that they would much rather assist someone in using the toilet than change a diaper. Likewise, every resident wearing a diaper will tell you that they would much rather use the toilet than be changed. Why would a nursing home want residents to wear diapers rather than use the toilets? The money, of course.
“Toileting programs” are time intensive to start and operate. For several days, a resident needs to be placed on the toilet virtually all the time. This allows the staff to narrow down the time when a resident needs to void their bladder. All living creatures have rhythms, even when they are too ill to realize what they are. After that rhythm is established, the staff can reasonably predict when the resident will need to use the toilet and accommodate that schedule. Studies have shown that as many as 80% of residents on toileting programs show improvement.
It’s true that these programs take time and, in a nursing home like anywhere else, time is money. It’s easier and cheaper for the nursing home to use diapers. For the residents, the cost in dignity, humiliation, and depression can’t be measured.
As a bed sores lawyer I can say that, without question, nursing home residents who are allowed to sit in damp diapers are at much greater risk of developing bed sores. Bed sores are open wounds that develop when a resident is kept in a damp environment and not properly repositioned.
If you have a loved one who has developed bedsores in an Illinois nursing home or is suffering from some other kind of nursing home neglect, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.