North Carolina nursing home residents should not be suffering from bedsores. Unfortunately, bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a common problem in nursing homes due to understaffing and negligent care. Since bedsores are completely preventable, the appearance of them could be a sign of neglect.
What causes bedsores?
Bedsores develop when too much pressure is placed on one area of the body for a prolonged period of time. In a nursing home setting, this usually occurs due to lack of movement. A nursing home patient who is not provided with mobility exercises, regular walks or repositioning will inevitably develop bedsores.
Elderly people usually have thinner, more fragile skin, so they can develop bedsores faster than younger people with mobility issues. Malnutrition, dehydration and excessive moisture can contribute to the development of bedsores. Nursing home abuse and neglect can cause minor bedsores to become major infections.
How serious can bedsores get?
Bedsores start out as a painful discolored area on the skin. Left untreated, a bedsore can lead to broken skin and a shallow sore. The sore can then progress beyond the dermis level and into the fatty tissue, muscle and bone. At their worst, bedsores can become dangerous infections that are life threatening.
Bedsores are an unacceptable indication of nursing home neglect that should be reported right away. If you notice that your elderly loved one has bedsores, it’s important to alert the nursing home and contact local authorities. Families of neglected nursing home patients can sue the nursing home for damages including pain and suffering and increased medical costs.