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The dangers of molds in nursing homes

When you see black spots on your bathroom walls, you know it is time to break out your best cleaners. Mold growth is not just a problem for ordinary homes, though. New Mexico nursing homes can also face problems with mold, which may in turn harm residents if the mold is not dealt with in a timely fashion.

U.S. News and World Report explains that mold can show up as stains or spots and may manifest in different colors, such as black, green, brown or gray. Mold spores are known for producing allergies. People who inhale mold spores or pieces of molds in the air can develop a runny nose, cough, itch or sneeze. Other symptoms may include a burning of the eyes or a drying of the skin.

Molds can be especially harmful to nursing home residents for a number of reasons. Depending on their physical condition, residents will have diminished immune systems and will be at greater risk for harmful airborne substances. Many seniors also depend on their caregivers to keep their rooms and bathrooms clean and are in no state to clean off molds themselves.

The presence of multiple bathrooms and shower rooms also increases the risk of molds growing. Nursing home staff should be watchful of black spots or other forms of mildew that could grow on the walls. Also, some nursing homes may have plants or other greenery just outside for residents to enjoy. But since molds are attracted to fallen leaves and grass, it is a good idea for groundskeepers to be mindful of mold potential.

Additionally, the New Mexico Department of Health cautions that molds are more susceptible to grow after monsoons or floods. A well insulated nursing home should be able to prevent outside water from penetrating the facility during a storm, but there is the chance water could leak inside or accumulate inside air vents. If water does get inside the nursing home, the affected area should be dried as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.

So the next time you pay your senior loved one a visit, take some time to look at the bathroom that your relative uses. You can also ask the nursing room staff how regularly they clean the bathrooms and what they use on molds and mildew. Also be aware of any symptoms that your relative one exhibits that could indicate mold problems.

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