If you are visiting a loved one or a friend in a nursing home and you notice that your relative or other seniors at the facility seem to be suffering from bedsores, this should make you concerned. While seniors who are bedridden or who are confined to a wheelchair are vulnerable to the development of bedsores, preventing these pressure ulcers is often possible with proper care. When bedsores are prevalent, severe, or infected, this is a major red flag suggesting that the nursing home staff may not be doing their job.
When you suspect Atlanta nursing home neglect for any reason, you need to get help. You should consider speaking with a nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer to understand what options you may have. The Division of Aging Services in Georgia also takes reports and may conduct an investigation if there is reason to believe a nursing home is failing its patients. Nursing home neglect can have devastating consequences for older individuals and you could protect the elderly, prevent a tragedy, and help your loved one to obtain compensation by coming forward.
Why Do Bedsores Indicate Possible Atlanta Nursing Home Neglect?
As an individual lays confined to a bed or stuck in a wheelchair unable to move, gravity causes the weight of the body to press down into the bed or chair. The skin can become irritated, damaged, and eventually worn away from this constant pressure. Bedsores or pressure ulcers can develop. Seniors tend to have fragile and thin skin, making them especially vulnerable to pressure sores. Bony areas like the buttocks, hips, and ankles have little fat to protect the body, thus bedsores are especially likely to develop in these areas.
While bedsores are sometimes difficult to prevent, there are many ways nursing homes can help to ensure seniors do not develop pressure sores. Moving patients regularly is one of the most important things that can be done, and is a simple thing for nursing home staff to do. If a senior has bedsores, this could be an indicator that staff members are neglecting this basic and important task.
There are other reasons why bedsores can be a possible red flag of nursing home neglect. Bedsores are more likely to develop when a senior is not getting proper nutrients. Insufficient food intake and malnutrition can result in weight loss, and less fat cushioning the body is going to make bedsores more of a problem. Natural and healthy regeneration of skin cells also relies on adequate consumption of calories and nutrition. A neglectful nursing home staff may not make sure seniors get enough food, which exacerbates the chances of a severe bedsore problem.
Incontinence is a problem for seniors as well. Incontinence leaves the skin moist, making bedsores more likely. Bacteria from urine and fecal matter can also cause bedsore infection if a senior is not kept clean.
Whether bedsores happen because staff members don't move seniors enough, or because they don't keep them clean and nourished, there is a major problem. You need to determine if any of these nursing home staff behaviors are causing the bedsores. If so, you can and should consider taking legal action for Atlanta nursing home neglect.
The Atlanta nursing home neglect lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent seniors with bedsores due to negligent nursing home staff. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.