Virginia residents with elderly loved ones in nursing homes expect those loved ones to get the best of care. Sadly, nursing neglect sometimes occurs. Bedsores are common, so it’s fair to wonder if they’re a sign of such neglect.
What is nursing home neglect?
Nursing home neglect is a type of abuse elderly residents in nursing homes face. Residents are dependent on others for their basics needs. Neglect means their needs aren’t being met and they might be forgotten, which can lead to bedsores.
What are bedsores?
Bedsores are painful wounds that develop on the skin due to excess pressure. Also known as pressure ulcers, they can develop when a person is in the same position for an extended period of time with no relief. Lack of blood flow to the affected area can result in bedsores developing. The most commonly affected bodily areas are the heels, tailbone, elbows, hips, shoulders and even the back of the head.
Although bedsores can happen to anyone, elderly people are more susceptible to them due to their thinner skin and lower mobility. Often, when a person in a nursing home suffers from bedsores, it’s a tell-tale sign of nursing home neglect. There may be other issues along with the bedsores themselves such as malnutrition, dehydration or being left in soiled clothing or bedding.
How serious are bedsores?
Nursing home neglect that results in bedsores can be serious. There are different severity stages of bedsores. In the first stage, there’s persistent redness on the affected area of the skin. If it’s not treated, it can progress to appear as a blister or abrasion.
With the third stage of bedsores, thickness of the skin is completely lost. Tissue is exposed due to the loss of the outer skin layers. In the worst stage, the fourth, muscle or bone is exposed. This can lead to serious infections that can be life-threatening.
Upon noticing a first stage bedsore, it’s important to take immediate action and report it to the nursing home. Be your loved one’s advocate.