One of the most difficult decisions anyone has to make is whether or not to place their parent or other elderly loved one into a nursing home. Often, this decision is made with the hope that the skilled care they are supposed to receive will be better than the care they could receive at home.
There are, of course, very good facilities that do everything they can to ensure the well-being and happiness of their residents. However, there are also many nursing homes that cut corners and do not fulfill even the most basic needs of their patients.
The most subtle form of abuse is neglect. It is not something that elderly people often complain about. In fact, many older residents of nursing homes have a difficult time remembering whether or not a particular action was or was not performed, and an even harder time pinpointing when it occurred. This is a situation that is often taken advantage of by unqualified and lazy staff members.
In addition to willful neglect, nursing home residents may also suffer due to lack of staffing. Tired and overworked staff members may cut corners because of time constraints and simple prioritizing of tasks.
Bed Sores and Ulcers
A very tangible sign of neglect is the appearance of bed sores or ulcers. This is especially true for those residents who are unable to get out of bed due to medical issues. However, it is also a problem for those who simply need assistance to move from the bed to a chair, or do not take the initiative to walk around a bit on their own.
Once they appear, ulcerated wounds are very difficult to get rid of. Older people do not have the healing capacity that they did when they were younger, and it is virtually impossible for them to avoid placing pressure on the same area every day.
When a patient is bedridden, it is the duty of their caretaker to make sure they are moved and adjusted to prevent bedsores from forming. Additionally, all nursing home residents should be assisted in moving around as much as they are able each day. Staff members should always check parts of the skin that sustain pressure, carefully treating or cushioning any area of redness or irritation before it turns into an ulcer.
Why It is Important
A small bedsore in and of itself is painful and can cause a great deal of suffering for someone who is elderly. However, that is not the real problem. Once an open sore forms, it can become larger and easily infected. Infections are often life-threatening for elderly people, and the danger is even greater because nursing homes are notorious breeding grounds for antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
In addition to infection, bedsores and ulcers can cause severe discomfort, resulting in loss of appetite, depression, and lack of desire to get out of bed. All of these situations are detrimental to the health and well-being of the patient.
Shea Law Group
At Shea Law Group, we understand how important it is for you to know that your loved one is being treated well when you are not with them. If someone you love has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, consult with our experienced legal team by calling us toll-free at (877)-365-0040. We never charge a fee unless we secure compensation for you and your family. When you don’t know where to turn, you can count on our highly-skilled and compassionate legal team here at Shea Law Group in Chicago. Call today.