There are numerous medical issues that people strongly associate with aging. Increased risk of falling, reduced strength and cognitive decline are all well-known consequences of growing older. Although, not all of those medical symptoms will manifest in every aging adult, as some people remain healthier and more active for longer than others.
With that said, it is important to understand the heightened risks that many older adults face so that they can prevent complications and harm, whenever possible. For example, if an older adult has limited mobility or spends most of their time in bed or in a chair, they are at risk of developing bedsores. Much like the slow loss of bone density often experienced later in life, bedsores development may be more likely for people with certain underlying health conditions or genetic predispositions. However, the vast majority of bedsores are completely preventable with proper care.
Bedsores are often a sign of nursing home neglect
It takes some time for bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, to develop into serious wounds. At first, they will simply be red, inflamed patches of skin. Eventually, that irritated skin will develop into an open wound, and the wound will worsen over time.
Bedsores can eventually affect deep body tissues and present severe infection risks. Given the limited mobility of many older adults in nursing homes, they are at risk of developing bedsores in places where their bodies routinely touch their chairs or beds.
Nursing home staff can use frequent activity, physical rotation, cushioning and other techniques to limit the pressure on specific areas and prevent the development of bedsores. They should also routinely examine the bodies of residents who are largely sedentary to ensure that no sores have started to develop. Prompt treatment is necessary to ensure that existing bedsores do not worsen.
Nursing home neglect affects every aspect of life
If someone has received inadequate support at a nursing home facility and has developed severe bedsores or an infection because of untreated bedsores, that negligent standard of care likely affects other aspects of their life as well.
They may wait quite some time for support when experiencing some kind of personal emergency, like a fall. They may go without having their needs met. Family members of those injured by substandard care in nursing home facilities may be able to take action on their behalf.
Learning more about nursing home negligence and its consequences, like bedsores, can empower those who love someone who resides in a long-term care facility. By understanding which complications and challenges are natural signs of aging and which are signs of neglect, loved ones can be better advocates and can be inspired to seek legal guidance to protect their loved one’s interests when necessary.