When are bedsores a sign of nursing home neglect?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | nursing home negligence

Older adults generally lead a more sedentary lifestyle than those who are younger. They spend more time sitting or may spend almost their entire day in bed if they have mobility challenges. Someone’s lack of mobility might be one of the reasons that their family members want them to live in a nursing home.

Concerns about them falling or not receiving appropriate care given their functional limitations might be a reason to seek out the professional support of a nursing home facility. Unfortunately, not everyone who lives in a nursing home receives excellent care. Those with limited mobility could still end up developing bedsores or pressure ulcers despite being in a facility where they should receive routine inspections and assistance. Residents and their family members can sometimes pursue legal action against a nursing home if the bedsores that develop are the result of medical negligence.

Demonstrating the severity of one’s sores

A stage one bedsore is essentially just a painful, inflamed section of skin. It can develop after as little as a few hours but will generally heal in a relatively short amount of time. However, if someone does not receive cushioning, repositioning support and mobility assistance, those basic bedsores might develop into something far worse. They can break through the skin and eventually move into the tissue below. The deeper and larger the store has become before staff members notice it, the more likely it is that the patient has experienced neglect in the nursing home, as later-stage bedsores take multiple days or longer to develop in most cases.

Raising claims about infections

Once a bedsore compromises the integrity of the skin, an individual’s risk of infection increases substantially. Older adults in nursing homes could end up with severe systemic infections that put their health at risk if their bed sores become infected and they do not receive proper treatment. As with later-stage bedsores that have moved into the musculature and deep tissue, infected bedsores are often a result of inadequate care and long-term negligence on the part of nursing home staff members. Family members will often need to gather medical documentation and possibly take pictures of the wounds themselves if they hope to hold a nursing home facility accountable for a negligence standard of care.

Learning more about bedsores and their complications may benefit those who wish to advocate for a loved one who has developed bedsores in their nursing home residence.