Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are typically designed to offer long-term care to your elderly loved one, but what happens when neglect causes physical injury, such as bedsores? These wounds grow in several stages and, according to WebMD, are also known as pressure sores or ulcers.
If your elderly family member shows signs of bedsores, you may want to understand what causes them and why they are often a serious sign of nursing home neglect.
Almost anyone who sits or lies too long in one position is at risk for developing pressure ulcers; however, they are especially common in nursing home patients who can no longer move on their own and require assistance with sitting up or shifting their bodies. Over time, your loved one’s own weight puts pressure on the skin, which causes redness or other discoloration. If left untreated, these sores can grow deep into the skin, where infection can set in.
Neglect and bedsores
The employees who care for your loved one have the responsibility to prevent, treat and document any bedsores that might develop. If you notice any during a visit, it is important that you speak up immediately and address the issue with the head of the nursing facility. Untreated or worsening pressure ulcers are often a sign of neglect because their presence usually indicates that the home’s employees are not turning or helping your loved one sit up. You may want to document the sores and monitor follow-up care closely to ensure the sores do not get any deeper.
Bedsores can lead to serious infection and in some cases, death. Awareness of this problem may help keep your elderly family member safe during a life stage of potential vulnerability.