Those in Virginia Beach that trust their loved ones to the care of nursing homes do so expecting that their family members or friends will not experience abuse at the hands of their caretakers. Yet often, it is not what a caretaker does that truly injures a nursing home resident, but rather what they do not do.
Neglect remains as prevalent a problem in nursing homes as abuse. One of the most common signs seen in neglected residents are bedsores. Indeed, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that 2.5 million Americans develop bedsores each year. The saddest element of that particular statistic is that these injuries are largely preventable.
The stages of bedsore development
A bedsore (or “pressure ulcer,” as many clinicians prefer to refer to them) do not show up overnight. Rather, they are the result of prolonged periods of pressure placed on a certain area of the skin. The longer that area experiences pressure, the more limited its blood flow becomes. That leads to the breakdown of the skin and underlying tissue. One may start to notice the formation of a bedsore when an area of the asking becomes red, irritated and sensitive to the touch. Soon discoloration appears, indicating damage to the underlying muscle tissue and fascia. If neglected further, the bedsore can burst open, at which point the fear of one developing a potentially fatal infection becomes very real.
It should come as little surprise that the Mayo Clinic reports that areas of the body most likely to develop bedsores include:
- The back of the head
- The hips and spine
- The buttocks
- The backs of legs and feet
Bedsores are preventable, however, by simply helping a patient with mobility issues move around frequently. Many may see a failure to do this as a sign of neglect.