When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to receive the highest standard of care. Although these facilities promise a haven of comfort and personal attention, instances of neglect and elder abuse are common. One major indication of abuse is bedsores, seemingly minor wounds that can pose a serious threat to your loved one’s health if ignored.
Bedsores: A sign of nursing home negligence
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, occur when the skin is pressed against a surface for a prolonged period, cutting off blood flow in that area. Lack of circulation can cause the skin to break down and result in an open wound. Individuals who are bedridden or unable to change their position regularly are most susceptible to pressure ulcers.
Despite being common, bedsores are preventable. Professionals working in nursing homes know how crucial it is to reposition patients who are unable to do it themselves. Additionally, keeping patients hydrated and facilitating regular exercise assists in the prevention of bedsores.
The presence of bedsores may indicate that your loved one is not getting the care they need. Your quick action may play a crucial role in preventing the wound from worsening. A pressure ulcer, if left untreated, may become infected and, worse, fatal.
Mortality rate of bedsores among nursing home patients
Bedsores have four stages of progression. The longer they are left untreated, the worse and more painful they may become. As the bedsore develops further, it can turn into an open wound that becomes a gateway for bacterial infection. Patients at this point may suffer from complications such as gangrene, organ failure, sepsis or death.
Statistics surrounding bedsores may raise some alarms. Research estimates that at least 15% of nursing home residents may develop pressure ulcers during their lifetimes, and about one-third of those affected may face a fatal outcome.
Understanding the risks of bedsores is crucial for safeguarding the health of your loved one in a care facility. Upon discovering a bedsore or any ongoing health problem, raise your concerns to the staff. Your loved one might not be able to voice their discomfort, but you can advocate for their well-being.