Bedsores are often a sign of elder abuse or nursing home neglect. They are preventable, and therefore, they do indicate a lack of proper care and treatment. If your loved one develops bedsores, it is time to ask some questions and dig deeper to find out more.
Signs of Bedsores
Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers, are injuries to the skin due to prolonged pressure. With proper treatment, they can heal, but if left untreated, some may never recover. The primary cause of bedsores is immobility. If your loved one has trouble moving and cannot reposition themselves when lying or sitting, they may develop bedsores on their heels, ankles, back, hips, and tailbone.
Some signs of bedsores are:
- Open wounds or irritated skin.
- Tender, bruised areas.
- Swelling or blisters.
- Changes in skin color or texture.
- Warm or cold areas on the skin.
Additional risk factors for bedsores include poor nutrition, dehydration, and sensory deprivation. Elders confined to the bed or a wheelchair are especially at risk.
Nursing Home Preventative Measures
Nursing home staff are supposed to be fully trained in the identification and treatment of bedsores. If educated properly, they should prevent them from occurring by performing position readjustment every fifteen minutes or so for elders who are at risk.
Another technique for preventing bedsores is regular skin assessments, from head to toe to ensure that the resident is not developing any skin irritations or bedsores.
What to Do if Your Loved One Develops Bedsores
If you notice signs of bedsores on your loved one, it could indicate a problem with your nursing home or caregiver. If you suspect an issue, first ask a few questions:
- How often is my loved one being moved or rotated?
- Why aren’t you getting them up regularly?
- How often does their doctor recommend movement?
- Why are they spending so much time in one position?
If you are not happy with the answers or the staff and management are evasive in their responses, contact one of our nursing home and elder abuse attorneys to see how we can help.