Most people associate abuse with physical acts of violence such as striking, punching and kicking. However, when it comes to nursing home abuse, a wide spectrum of actions and lack of action can constitute abuse. Neglecting to care for a patient adequately is a form of neglect. And bedsores are one of the most common indications of this form of abuse.
What are bedsores?
Bedsores are damage to the skin and underlying tissue due to extended pressure. They tend to develop near bony areas of the body. Often referred to as pressure ulcers, they resemble large red patches that can also become dark brown with a purple tinge. Although they vary in severity, bedsores often feel very painful.
How neglect can cause bedsores
People who have limited mobility are at highest risk for developing bedsores. This includes the elderly residents of nursing homes and other care facilities. When someone cannot turn themselves over in bed, the pressure on their skin can lead to the development of bedsores.
It is critical for care attendants, nurses, personal care assistants or other nursing home staff to rotate patients in their beds regularly. Without regular repositioning, the patient’s skin is likely to develop a sore. The longer the time between rotations, the more serious the sore.
What to do if you suspect neglect
Granted, not every bedsore indicates nursing home abuse. However, if your loved one has developed a severe sore, you should carefully document it. Make note of where the sore is located on the body, how it appears every time that you see it and its condition as it worsens or improves. You should also document which attendants visit your loved one’s room and when. If your loved one can still communicate, ask them outright whether the staff turns them in their bed regularly. With this evidence in your hands, bring the issue to the nursing home’s management.