When you have an elderly loved one who is confined to a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is always wise to keep a close eye on them and the treatment that they receive. Certainly, you would never want them to be subjected to abuse or neglect at the hands of those who are entrusted with their care.
One of the problems that can arise from nursing home neglect is bedsores, which are also called decubitus ulcers by the medical community. These injuries to the patient’s skin and the underlying tissue are caused by extended pressure on the skin covering the bony areas of the body — most notably on the ankles, heels, tailbone and hips.
Those with the highest risk of contracting bedsores are patients with reduced mobility that keeps them from adjusting their position in bed or when sitting on a chair. A bedsore can develop in only a matter of hours. With prompt treatment, the skin can begin to heal. However, if the condition goes unnoticed or is ignored by the staff at the facility, the condition quickly worsens and can even lead to a patient’s death.
The best way to prevent bedsores is to pay attention to the integrity of the patient’s skin. Each shift should check all suspicious areas for any changes in the skin’s texture or color. Swelling and draining, and spots that feel warmer or cooler than others are signs that damage has already begun to occur. Left untreated, the wounds will fester and can compromise the muscle and bones of the patient.
Is your loved one suffering from bedsores? You may be able to take legal action to help ensure their future safety and hold those responsible for this negligence liable for their injuries, losses and damages.