When you place an ailing parent, grandparent or other loved one into a nursing home or adult care facility, you do so because you want the best possible treatment and care. Your loved one is likely no longer able to care for himself or herself, which means that around-the-clock support or care may be necessary.
You did everything you could to find a safe, clean facility for your loved one’s final years. However, even the best of facilities can make a mistake in hiring or training. It only takes one employee to endanger or injure someone you love who is dependent on outside care.
When you see a problem
If you have arrived to visit your loved one and realize, through your own observation or statements made by your family member, that bedsores have become an issue, you need help. You should, of course, address the issue with staff immediately. Why wasn’t your loved one cared for in an adequate manner?
Bedsores can easily be prevented, even in those who are unable to move on their own. Staff should be regularly moving your loved one and providing ways to reduce or limit pressure on areas where sores have developed. Your family member may need your protection and intervention.
Nursing homes shouldn’t let bedsores develop
Bedsores are also called pressure sores. They develop from constant pressure on one area of the body, often over bony areas, such as the hips, knees and spine. There are four stages of be sores, starting with Stage I, which is like a deep bruise. Discoloration is common in Stage I. Bedsores are easiest to treat if you catch them in this early stage of development, so check your loved one regularly for any indication bedsores may be forming.
Stage II sores, or those more progressed, often involve broken skin and tissue ulcers, which can become quite serious. Bedsores, left untreated, can affect quality and length of life.
Untreated bedsores affect deeper and deeper underlying tissue over time. By Stage IV, the wound may be deep enough to expose muscle or even bone. These wounds not only kill surrounding tissue, they can lead to systemic infections.
The worse the bedsores, the more likely the staff at the facility has been overtly neglecting or intentionally abusing your loved one. In addition to seeking an alternate facility, you should speak with an experienced personal injury or medical malpractice attorney familiar with elder abuse and nursing home neglect.
An attorney can help protect your loved one and others
Even after your loved one has been moved to a better facility, others are still at risk of mistreatment or neglect. Working with an attorney who has experience in elder abuse cases can help your family recover your losses and protect others in the facility from being similarly abused or neglected.