When you place an elderly loved one in a Virginia nursing home, you expect them to be given plenty of attention and care. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen; some nursing home residents suffer from neglect. If your loved one experiences bedsores, nursing home neglect might be the culprit.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are skin wounds that develop when the area experiences excess force over an extended period of time. The main cause of bedsores in elderly nursing home residents is nursing home neglect.
However, older adults and anyone who is in the same position for long periods are more susceptible to bedsores. If the individual is not moved and remains in the same position for long stretches, certain areas of their body can develop them. The excess pressure causes a lack of blood flow, leading to the skin suffering damage.
Signs of bedsores are reddish or discolored skin, blisters and open wounds. The skin often doesn’t show whiteness when pressure is placed on the affected area.
Bedsores always involve painful, irritated skin. In some cases, the skin may be unusually firm, but it could also be unusually soft. There are also different levels of bedsores depending on their severity as there could be a loss of multiple layers of skin and even muscle. In the worst stage, the wound could even extend to the bone.
Bedsore risk factors
Being immobile is the biggest risk factor for bedsores. Older people in nursing homes often have limited mobility and difficulty getting up and walking on their own, which can put pressure and friction on their skin. Their skin may also be drier, further increasing the risk. In situations of nursing home neglect, elderly residents may suffer from malnutrition and dehydration in addition to being in the same position in their bed or chair. This can lead to the development of bedsores.
Often, when nursing home residents develop bedsores because of a nursing home neglect situation, it’s not deliberate. Many nursing homes are understaffed, so workers may have multiple residents in their care. However, the facility is responsible for ensuring that residents most at risk should be moved regularly to prevent bedsores from happening.