Urgent care diagnosed my mother with Alzheimer’s with bed bug bites, but staff doesn’t think that is the problem. Mother staying with me until I can understand what to do. She was covered in bite like marks, scratching until she had broken the skin in many places. There were blood spots on her bed and nightgown. What is the protocol to make sure there are no bedbugs and then what else could it be? The doctor didn’t think it was an allergic rash. I don’t know how to handle this! I’m afraid to take her back to her place!

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When you say "staff", to whom did you report the report from Urgent Care?

This information should go to the DON and Social Worker, in writing. And you need to ask what their plan for remediation is. There is usually a State-specific mandated protocol that is required in places like hotels, ALs and apartments that must be followed.

At least in NYC, an on-site inspection must be done by a qualified professional within X number of hours/days. If evidence to bed bugs is found, extermination procedures must be obtained by the landlord and all adjacent units examined. There is specific protocol for bedding, clothing, etc.

Have you examined your mother's clothing, bedding, etc. for evidence?

What does staff think the bites come from?

Please let us know the outcome of this; I had bedbugs, discovered on Christmas Eve two years ago. It's not an experience I'd wish on anyone.
Helpful Answer (6)

My personal protocol for hearing rumours of bed bugs is to squeal hysterically and run away. I realise that is not terribly helpful to you.

Have you got Urgent Care's opinion in writing? If not, can you get it? You then copy this to the ALF's lead manager, to the CEO if the facility is part of a group, and to whichever state regulators operate in your locale - you can find them online if you dig around a bit, try "reporting ALF problems in [name of county or state]."

What would make me see red is not so much the potential infestation but the facility's dismissive attitude. Keep your mother safe with you until this is resolved. Hire help, and keep every invoice. If you can, withhold her ALF fees. You are going for:

a) a proper investigation of your mother's room
b) if an infestation is found, the total replacement of her mattress and all soft furnishings and any clothing that may be harbouring varmints
c) deep cleaning
d) wider investigation of other residents' rooms
e) reimbursement of all expenses you have incurred

If the manager of the ALF has the sense he or she was born with, the second you start making this complaint formal s/he will spring into action and begin the protocol they must certainly have in place. In that case, assuming you don't want to move your mother, be gracious and co-operative. But if that doesn't happen FAST, keep referring up until you get results. Good luck, let us know how you're doing.
Helpful Answer (5)

If you get nowhere with the facility call the Dept of Health.
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Examine under the mattress and if you see the little beasties..Report it immediately to your health department please. Bed bugs and scabies are pretty common in nursing homes. if the welts are between her fingers and toes it's probably scabies. report that to the health department. And you better take STRICT PRECUTIONS to keep them from spreading into your home otherwise it will cost over a thousand dollars to call an exterminator.
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Has your mother been tested for scabies. This is common in nursing homes and ALFs. It took almost three months for them to diagnose my husband. It's a two month treatment but finally they cured it. He had symptoms just like you described. I also had to be treated. Good luck.
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Certainly worth ruling out!

This NHS link has very clear stage-by-stage pictures. I sort of hope they won't look familiar :(
my husband does bedbug work and unfortunately in most places the health department does not think of bedbugs as a health issue but only a pest. He has done several inservices with nursing homes and home health care to educate the staff on how to spot a bedbug infestation and what to do to if there is an issue. The legalities are very vague as to who must pay to take care of the issue because it’s hard to prove who brought them in. Some ALF’s are good and proactive, others are reactive and then there are many that are in denial or too worried about the almighty dollar more than their patients health and well-being. As others have said, check all the crevices of the mattress, under the mattress and in the bed frame. Little black blood spots are the first indication. Bedbugs will always be where there is a host, in a bed or chair, unless the infestation is bad, then they can be everywhere. I always know when he has done a really bad bedbug job because he strips in the garage and his clothes go directly in the dryer!! Good luck on finding the issue and getting it resolved.
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Thanks, everyone! The ALF had a professional inspection done and there were no bedbugs to be found! So I’ve spent the rest of the day trying to get her an appointment with a dermatologist. Finally, I was able to get her an appointment for tomorrow morning. Her skin is covered with with bite-like lesions which are itching like crazy! Apparently, the Urgent Care Doctor was mistaken, but we will keep trying to find an answer. I didn’t mention that Mother is 94......has anyone else had skin breakdowns in elderly Alzheimer’s patients which are related to Alzheimer’s? There is no reasoning with her to try to stop scratching! We have to get some help for this!
Helpful Answer (2)
Is this itching on only one side? Shingles? Have you tried benadryl? Or cortisone cream? Or Calohist lotion?

Also, spray on lidocaine (sunburn spray) might help.
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FLEAS is my first thought having had close and personal experience with them several times.
Does your mother have a cat or dog or does one visit.
Did Mom recently move into this apartment? Was it empty for a while? Did the previous owner have animals?
Flea eggs can survive up to a year and as soon as something warm blooded arrives they spring into action. They are actually species specific but when hungry bite anything. If you go into a badly infested room wearing light colored pants you will immediately see your legs covered in black spots.You can brush them off but inevitably a few will hitch a ride home.
It is said that if you place a dish in the room with a lighted candle in water you will find dead ones in the morning.
They do itch like crazy and there is no way Mom can keep from scratching so find a good anti itch cream and cover her with it.
The best thing to do would be to call an exterminator and you should insist that the facility does this immediately and remediates the problem at their expense.
Do not bring any of Mom's clothes to your home till the exterminator has done his job.
There are plenty of sprays and bombs you can use if it comes down to a DIY job. You may need several applications but they are pretty effective these days.
My only is on fleas however loudly CM is screaming as she runs down the road in her underwear.
Helpful Answer (2)

Lift the edges of the mattress and chairs and couches and see if there are yucky moving things anyplace. In drawers too.
Helpful Answer (2)

Are you in a hot climate? My SIL developed a huge allergic reaction to “no-see-ums” out of the blue. They’re all dead now up north, but may be still active in the south. She had to get on steroids to stop the terrible itching and swelling. Just a thought.
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