antibiotic resistance

Mailbag! [Warning] New Threat Found in Nursing Homes

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

You’ve got questions…

We’ve got answers!

Nursing homes can be dangerous places. Oftentimes they are understaffed and overpopulated, which can lead to all sorts of health issues.

But it looks like there’s more to worry about…

You see, scientists have discovered something that’s truly terrifying — a quarter of all nursing home patients already have dangerous bacteria in their bodies.

And these bacteria are just waiting to turn into deadly infections.

Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to keep your loved ones safe from one of these nasty bugs.

Let’s dive in…

Natalie,

I’m responsible for my elderly aunt’s care. She is currently in a nursing home. Many friends have warned me that she might get an infection caused by drug-resistant bacteria. I’ve heard this before about hospitals but wasn’t sure if this is also true in nursing homes. If so, is there anything I can do to help prevent her from getting one?

Thanks,

Jolene D.

Excellent question, Jolene. Many folks with relatives in long-term care facilities have the same worries.

Just like hospitals, nursing homes are breeding grounds for all types of bacteria.

Many of these bacteria are extremely threatening to your health because they’re antibiotic resistant and incredibly hard to treat.

But that’s not the worst of it…

You see, a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that over a quarter of nursing home residents have colonies of multidrug-resistant bacteria in their bodies.

What’s worse, these colonies can easily grow into a full-blown infection.

And since nursing home patients are more susceptible to infection because of their age and health status, these infections can sometimes result in death.

Exposure to these types of germs is nearly impossible to avoid in a nursing home setting, but there are a few ways to help protect your aunt.

First, ask her nursing home staff if they have an infection control plan that’s been updated recently. If not, try to move her to a facility that does. Infection control is essential to preventing the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, and infection control plans should always be up-to-date.

Second, talk to her doctor about antibiotic resistance. Explain your concerns, and always be sure to inquire about any prescribed antibiotics, as they are often overprescribed.

Lastly, ask her doctor about adding a probiotic to her treatment plan. Probiotics can help strengthen gut bacteria, which can reduce the risks of complications that come with antibiotic use.

Do you have health questions you want answered? Drop me a line: feedback@livingwelldaily.com.

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily


Sources

[1] A quarter of nursing home residents are colonized with drug-resistant bacteria

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

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