There are certain medical conditions that people know have a strong association with advanced age. For example, older adults are more likely to fall than younger people, and they are also more inclined to break bones due to lower bone density. They are more susceptible to infections, like pneumonia. They also often have reduced mobility when compared with those in younger age groups. One of the medical conditions strongly associated with advanced age and reduced mobility is pressure ulcers or bedsores. Those who remain seated or spend their days in bed can develop painful wounds that could potentially become infected.
While bedsores do have a strong correlation with living in a nursing home, they are often preventable. Severe bedsores and those that go untreated for a long time are often warning signs of negligence at a facility.
Staff members can likely prevent most bedsores
Even when an individual spends their entire life in bed and can no longer walk at all, it is possible to prevent the development of bedsores through the use of proper cushioning, regular rotation and careful inspection. When someone does develop a bedsore, nursing home staff members should identify that inflamed skin as soon as possible and then take measures to treat it.
If bedsores progress beyond the initial stage of development, that is a possible sign that staff members have not adhered to best practices regarding patient care. The same is true for scenarios in which bedsores lead to systemic infections. Although family members often accept the idea that bedsores are a common side effect of a sedentary lifestyle, the truth is that their loved one may have developed those bedsores because of a negligent standard of care at a facility.
The worse the bedsores are, the more bedsores someone develops and the more serious their infection becomes, the greater the likelihood that staff members at the facility were negligent when providing care. Those worried about a loved one’s bedsores may need to document their concerns. They may even need to work with outside medical professionals or look for a way to move their family member into a different facility where they will receive better support.
In some cases where the bedsores have impacted someone’s health and cost-of-living expenses, families might even be able to pursue a lawsuit related to negligence against the facility. Holding a nursing home accountable for negligence that leads to bedsores and other health issues can compensate the family, allow the victim to receive justice and hopefully raise the standard of care at negligent facilities.