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What are bedsores and are they signs of nursing home neglect?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse

If there’s one injury that people strongly associate with older adults, it would probably be a bedsore. Those who live in nursing homes often spend quite a bit of their time in bed or in chairs. They may struggle to move around without the support of staff, which leaves them with few options for getting out of their room on any given day.

Vulnerable older adults can sometimes develop bedsores while living in nursing homes, but that does not mean that bedsore development is an inevitable part of growing older. In many cases, serious bedsores are actually a warning sign of a poor standard of care at a nursing home facility.

What exactly are bedsores?

Medical professionals often call bedsores pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. They are wounds that develop because of the pressure of the body’s weight on certain points. Someone who spends most of their day on their back in bed might develop bedsores under their buttocks and shoulder blades, as well as on the back of their heads and legs. Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are preventable in most cases, although some people are more likely to develop them than others due to underlying medical conditions. Often, pressure ulcers are indicative of a poor standard of care at a nursing home facility.

Bedsores can be a sign of neglect

While staff members cannot always prevent bedsores from forming on every resident, they can prevent the majority of them. They can also find and diagnose them quickly when they begin developing. Regular inspections and communication with residents would prevent bedsores from progressing beyond the initial stage. Helping someone move around more, providing special cushioning and keeping sores clean can prevent someone’s symptoms from worsening. If people have multiple bedsores, if the bedsores are in a later stage or if those bedsores become infected, they may not have received the right quality of care at a nursing home.

Family members shocked by the number of sores that their loved one has or how severe they have become may have grounds for legal action against a nursing home. Learning the truth about bedsores may help people better advocate for a loved one who is in a vulnerable position.