Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP
Treating California’s Injured With Dignity And Respect

Why bed sores may be a sign of nursing home neglect

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Nursing Home Abuse

If you’re one of many people in California who has an aging loved one, you no doubt understand that older people can have a myriad of health problems. This is especially true for elders who reside in assisted living facilities. However, certain health issues or injuries may be a sign of nursing neglect, such as bed sores.

Care providers in a California nursing home are supposed to receive specialized training that helps them keep patients safe and avoid injuries like bed sores. A bed sore can range in severity from a minor abrasion to an open wound that becomes infected and places a patient’s life at risk. Care providers know how to prevent bed sores.

Bed sores suggest nursing neglect, especially in immobile patients

If a person’s blood supply is cut-off for several hours in a specific region of the body, such as behind the knees, at the heels of the feet, on the lower back or other areas, the skin begins to die. This causes inflammation, at first, often quite painful.

To prevent bed sores, care providers should help immobile patients move and change positions every couple of hours. They know not to leave a patient lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair for too long. If a caretaker disregards protocol and accepted standards for patient safety, your loved one may be at risk for bed sores or other symptoms of nursing neglect.

Older people are often slow to heal

When you were young, you likely suffered a scraped knee while playing outdoors or other injuries that didn’t take long to heal. As human beings age, however, the healing process takes much longer. If your loved one has bed sores that are taking long to heal, his or her condition may take a sudden turn for the worse, especially if he or she is in a high-risk category. This category includes people with diabetes, blood circulation issues or poor nutrition.

The medical term for bed sores is decubitus ulcers

A decubitus ulcer often begins as a red mark on a patient’s body that is warm to the touch. It may then become discolored, raised or form blisters or an open wound. If you notice such injuries on your loved one, it is best to request a meeting with nursing home administrators and staff members to ask for an explanation.

Left untreated, bed sores can reach the muscle or bone and require surgery to heal. In fact, a full recovery may take months or longer. Sadly, if an infection gets out of hand, it can lead to death.

Resolving issues of nursing neglect

The sooner you inquire about bed sores or other symptoms of nursing neglect in a California assisted living facility, the better off your loved one might be. There is no excuse for neglecting a nursing home patient, and recourse is available to those whose loved ones have suffered due to substandard care.