When we make the difficult choice to move a parent or a loved one to a nursing home, we’re doing it with their best interests in mind. What we expect from a nursing home is an environment where our loved ones will thrive and receive the care we’d give them ourselves.

But too often – both in New Jersey and around the country – residents in nursing homes face neglect from the staff tasked with dutifully caring for them. One sign that your loved one may not be getting the care they deserve is if they develop bed sores.

What are bed sores?

Also known as pressure ulcers, pressure sores and decubitus ulcers, bed sores are wounds that usually develop on bony parts of the body like the hips, elbows, heels, back and the back of the head. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bed sores “are serious medical conditions and one of the important measures of the quality of clinical care in nursing homes.”

Older people are more susceptible to bed sores because their skin is more delicate, and up to 28 percent of nursing-home residents develop bed sores.

Bed sores typically develop either from sustained pressure – lying in the same position for too long – or from the friction caused by dragging. Both are potential signs your loved one has not received the care they deserve.

Other signs of neglect

Though bed sores are one common and easily identifiable sign of neglect, there are other things signs of nursing-home neglect for which you should be on the lookout. These include:

  • Dehydration
  • Changes in mood or sleep patterns
  • Malnutrition
  • Falls
  • Incontinence
  • Poor hygiene

Finding help

If you notice your loved one developing bed sores or showing other signs of neglect, don’t wait to act. If your loved one is facing neglect, the odds are other residents are as well. You may wish to speak to an attorney who can help get your loved one into a better situation and seek any compensation they may be owed.