Are bedsores a sign of neglect?

As much as you would like to care for your elderly loved ones, sometimes it’s impossible. Between your job, raising a family and maintaining a home, you understand that you cannot give them the skilled care they require.

When we entrust our loved ones to a nursing home, we expect they will be cared for in a safe, nurturing environment. Therefore, it is sad to discover the development of pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores. Is this just a short-term issue or a sign of neglect?

Understanding bedsores

Bedsores are skin injuries caused by extended pressure on a body part. They usually develop on the skin covering bony areas of the body, such as heels, hips and tailbones. Bedsores are more likely to happen to someone who has problems changing positions and spends most of their time in a bed or chair. Left untreated, they can lead to open wounds and infections.

Bedsores typically occur in the elderly due to their frail skin and limited mobility. While they are not necessarily a sign of neglect, if they continue to happen or get worse, it could be a signal that the nursing home isn’t repositioning your loved one regularly or providing adequate nutrition and skin care.

If you notice a bedsore on your elderly loved one, you need to discuss your concerns with the nursing home staff and management. They should have procedures to keep it from worsening and prevent future ones from occurring.

If the nursing home dismisses your concerns or fails to provide treatment, immediate action is crucial to ensuring your loved one’s well-being. Document all communications with the facility and take photos of the bedsores. You should report the issue to Kentucky’s Division of Health Care, which oversees the licensing of nursing homes.

You may also want to consider legal action. This is a way to hold the facility accountable and to receive compensation for additional medical treatment of the bedsores.

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