Bed Bug Bites? We Can Help!

Bed bugs and dementia in nursing homes: A double threat

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Nursing Homes

At the intersection of healthcare and hygiene, a pressing concern arises when bed bug infestations occur within nursing homes. For residents already grappling with dementia, these tiny pests can pose an additional threat.

Long-term care facilities are meant to provide a safe and comfortable environment for elderly residents, especially those living with dementia. However, a bed bug infestation can significantly disrupt this sense of well-being and exacerbate existing dementia symptoms.

The discomfort factor

Bed bugs sustain themselves with human blood, leaving itchy, red welts on exposed skin. This constant discomfort can be incredibly distressing for anyone, but for individuals with dementia, it can be particularly challenging. They may struggle to understand the source of the itching and scratching, leading to increased agitation and anxiety. Additionally, the sleep disruptions caused by bed bug activity can further disorient and confuse residents.

Worsening cognitive decline

Dementia already disrupts a person’s memory, thinking and reasoning abilities. The stress and anxiety caused by a pest infestation can further exacerbate these cognitive issues. Residents may experience increased confusion, disorientation and difficulty concentrating. In severe cases, the combined effects of bed bugs and dementia can lead to increased withdrawal and depression.

Physical health concerns

The constant scratching associated with bed bug bites can break the skin and increase the risk of secondary infections. Additionally, some individuals with dementia may have difficulty expressing their discomfort, leading to delayed detection and treatment of the bites. Furthermore, sleep deprivation caused by bed bugs can weaken the immune system, making residents more susceptible to other illnesses.

Bed bug infestations pose a significant threat to the physical and mental health of all nursing home residents, particularly those living with dementia. If you have an elderly loved one with dementia at a nursing home, you should be vigilant to help ensure a bed bug infestation isn’t making their stay agonizing. It’s also important to know that you can potentially take legal action against a nursing home if their sub-standard care exposes your loved one to bed bugs.