Nursing home residents are elderly and often frail, requiring extensive care and assistance. Families who have loved ones in nursing homes have to take a leap of faith, putting their trust in the staff and management at a residential care facility which family members often know very little about. The truth is that nursing home residents often face abuse and neglect. Tragic stories of abuse and neglect are frequently on the news, and understaffing is often responsible for the worst outcomes for nursing home patients.
Bedsores are one of the most common consequences of nursing home understaffing. While you may not be able to monitor your loved one in their nursing home all the time, if your parent or grandparent has bedsores and you have a hunch that they may not be getting the care they need, take action right away.
How Do Bedsores Develop?
Simply put, bedsores happen when someone is sitting or lying for too long in the same position. A person’s body weight puts pressure on whichever part of their body is touching a bed or a wheelchair, and when that person cannot move often enough, blood supply is cut off to the compressed part of the body and sores can develop. Bedsores are classified into four stages:
- Stage one bedsores involve only the first layer of skin and symptoms include itching, burning, or pain; the bedsore may look softer, firmer, redder, or feel warm to the touch.
- Stage two bedsores have developed into small but open wounds that are quite painful.
- Stage three bedsores develop deeper pits in the skin because damage to the lower level of skin is so severe.
- Stage four bedsores involve significant, visible wounds and damage to underlying muscles, bones, or joints. Patients with stage four bedsores are at highest risk of life-threatening infections.
What Do Bedsores Look Like?
While the appearance of a bedsore differs depending on its stage, if you find raw, red spots or open wounds on your loved one’s body, that is a warning sign that something could be wrong. If your loved one complains of pain with no clear cause, you may want to check parts of their body that are susceptible to bedsores, including the back of their elbows, ankles, head, and hips. If you visit your loved one for several hours and no staff appear to help them reposition, there may also be cause for concern.
Speak with a Joliet Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
If you suspect your parent is suffering from neglectful treatment in their nursing home, better to be safe than sorry. Call an experienced Will County nursing home neglect and injury attorney with McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC to schedule a free consultation. You can explain your concerns and explore your options for taking action to put a stop to any abuse or neglect. Call us now at 815-727-0100.