Also known as pressure sores and decubitus ulcers, bedsores typically afflict bedridden individuals that are not properly repositioned. Bedsores are types of skin ulcerations that generally affect areas with bony prominences. The location of the bedsore on the individual’s body will depend on the position of the individual. For example, the areas in which bedsores may occur include the heels, lower back, tailbone, hip bone, knees, shoulder, ankles, or head. The location of the bedsore and its severity will depend on the position of the individual and how often the individual is properly repositioned. In some cases, bedsores will develop on individuals that sit for prolonged periods of time without being repositioned, and bedsores that develop on these individuals can be quite severe.
When bedsores occur on elderly individuals residing in nursing homes, this could be an indication that the elderly individual is not receiving proper care and supervision. Nursing home residents should be assessed periodically to determine their risk of developing a bedsore. Those elderly individuals that are considered at-risk should be bathed appropriately and nursing home staff should monitor the individual’s nutrition and hydration. Furthermore, support devices should be used when appropriate, and nursing home staff should ensure both appropriate postural alignment and proper distribution of weight when repositioning the individual. By taking these steps and others, nursing home staff can help prevent the development of bedsores on immobile individuals.
If the family of an elderly loved one in a nursing home notices bedsores, they should take immediate action to rectify the situation. Bedsores can present a significant health risk to nursing home residents; therefore, these skin ulcerations should not be taken lightly. Bedsores should be reported to the nursing home staff, and in some cases these health problems may need to be reported to the proper authorities. Since bedsores can be indicative or abuse or neglect, its essential that problems such as bedsores be thoroughly investigated to determine if they were the result of abuse. If an elderly individual has suffered a bedsore due to abuse or neglect, the elderly individual’s family may wish to contact an attorney for assistance.
It is important that those responsible for abuse or neglect be held responsible for their reprehensible actions. Bedsores are just one of the common signs that can indicate abuse, and there may be other physical, emotional, or behavioral signs of which families will want to be aware.