Patients, as well as the people who love them, should be able to expect nursing homes to prevent bedsores. Bedsores occur when patients that are not able to move on their own are not shifted frequently to prevent prolonged pressure on any particular part of the body. Nurses and aides should pay close attention to patients with incontinence because their bedsores are likely to get infected.
Complications of Bedsores
Left untreated, bedsores can cause serious complications. Patients may need to have affected parts of their bodies amputated or even develop cancer. Bedsores are more common among patients who are immobile and have limited cognitive abilities, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Family members may notice sores when they visit their loved ones. Those who don’t get regular visits may be particularly at risk.
It’s not difficult to prevent bedsores and the presence of them is a clear sign of nursing home neglect. Family members who find signs of bedsores should notify the facility management right away. The sores need to be treated promptly and steps need to be taken to ensure the patient is not left unattended again. Family members may also contact an attorney to learn about their rights.
It’s important to document the sores and any conversations with the nursing home staff. Loved ones should take pictures and write down the names of the people they spoke with and how that staff member told them they would improve the situation. If the sores don’t heal or they appear on another part of the body, there may be a cause for legal action.
Bedsores are very common among patients who are unable to move on their own and cannot tell the staff they are in pain. However, the nursing home has a duty to ensure the patients in their care are not injured in the facility.
Family members of elderly and disabled people who need nursing home care should investigate facilities prior to moving in their loved one. Some facilities have better safety records than others and using one of them could give family members peace of mind during this stressful time in their lives.