When your parent is in a nursing home, it is important to make sure that he or she is being properly cared for. Often, elderly people in a nursing home are unable to take care of themselves and unable to speak up for themselves when things are going wrong in the nursing home. This means that family members need to be alert to any signs of problems.
One common issue that nursing home patients can develop when they are not properly cared for is bed sores or pressure sores. Bed sores can form when there is insufficient blood flow to a part of the body, which causes the tissues to become damaged and which causes the pressure ulcers to form on the body.
What Caused the Bed Sores?
Bed sores generally form in people who are bedridden and who are relatively stationary and unable to move their bodies to ensure proper blood flow and blood circulation to the tissues. Bed sores can form on the back or sides of a person who is bedridden and can form on the legs and bottom of a person who is wheelchair bound and unable to move from his or her wheelchair.
Bed sores do not form in every situation when someone is in a bed or in a nursing home. In fact, if bed sores have formed, this can be a major sign of nursing home neglect. This is because bed sores can be prevented if the patient is routinely rotated or moved in order to protect the body, keep blood flowing and avoid tissue damage.
Unfortunately, nursing homes can sometimes fail to provide patients with the type of care that they require in order to avoid developing pressure sores. Nursing homes may fail to turn a patient and keep blood flowing because the nursing home is understaffed; because the staff is careless and forgets to treat the patient; and/or because the nursing home does not have proper policies in place to prevent the formation of bedsores.
Patients who are underweight or incontinent are also more prone to bed sores, as are patients that are suffering from malnutrition. As such, pressure sores can also be a sign that a nursing home is not providing a proper diet for your parent.
Taking Action if Your Parent has Bed Sores
While bedsores do not always indicate that nursing home neglect has occurred, they are one of the major indicators that a nursing home is falling short in the care that it is supposed to provide to your parents. This is especially true if your parent has many bed sores and/or if the bed sores have advanced beyond stage I sores.
If you notice bedsores on your parent, you should speak with the nursing home administrator and/or your parent’s physician immediately to find out what the issue is. You should also be watchful of other potential signs of neglect and should consider contacting an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer for advice.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.