Few things are more reprehensible than elder abuse. What many people may not realize is that elder abuse is often passive, however, as in a caregiver neglecting to meet the basic health needs of an elder person entrusted to them.
Unfortunately, this can happen in nursing homes. One telltale sign can be bedsores.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are painful sores that generally result from a lack of attention and care, especially for senior residents who struggle with physical mobility. If left lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair for too long, circulation can be impeded and sores may develop in areas of the body where skin presses against bone. For example, sores can be especially likely in the areas of the elbows, hips, ankles and along the spine.
This is a serious problem. Infections can easily take root and lead to major health problems, and even be life-threatening. They’re also avoidable. Nursing home caretakers should be well-educated about them and treat elder residents accordingly.
Here are several key items to be aware of:
How often are at-risk senior residents re-positioned? Almost everyone shifts and moves when sleeping or lying down, but seniors with mobility issues may not be able to. They need to be gently, and frequently, re-positioned.
Beyond the obvious imperative of proper hydration, skin is especially vulnerable to becoming dry and thin from lack of fluids. This increases the risk of developing bedsores. Make sure that an aging loved one has plenty of liquids around them at all times, and advocate for the use of skin lotions as well.
Immobile elderly people need special attention to keep up their personal hygiene, especially with respect to bodily waste. If they are not properly cared for in this regard, irritated skin can lead to rashes and infected bedsores in little time and with catastrophic results.
Knowing these basics will go a long way toward understanding how to protect elder seniors when visiting them in a nursing home. With the health and well-being of vulnerable loved ones at stake, it’s too important not look out for bedsores and neglect.
If you suspect an elder loved one is suffering from neglect or bedsores in a nursing home, it is highly recommend to speak with an attorney to do something about it. Do not wait. If you have questions, do not wait to contact our law office to ask them.