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Are bedsores a sign of elder abuse?

On Behalf of | Oct 15, 2023 | Elder Abuse

In nursing homes throughout Florida, there are many thousands of people with special health care needs. For example, many patients suffer from dementia or other neurodegenerative diseases. Many nursing home residents are partially or fully immobile. They rely on care providers to help them change positions so that they do not suffer from bedsores. In fact, when a patient has a severe case of bedsores, it is often a sign of elder abuse. 

If a nursing home staff is not doing their job to help immobile patients change positions every few hours, it constitutes negligence, which is a form of abuse. Care providers in nursing homes are specially trained to know how to lift and move patients without causing them injury. Bed sores, also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers occur when skin meets a hard surface or rough material for an extended period. This creates pressure and friction, which causes abrasions that can become infected and place a patient’s life at risk.  

Issues that increase the risk of bed sores and may also be elder abuse 

If a nursing home patient becomes dehydrated or malnourished, he or she is at great risk for bed sores. Sadly, these conditions are often caused by nursing negligence and elder abuse, as well. People who are very thin also get bedsores more easily than patients who have more body weight. Treatment for bedsores varies and depends on the location of the sore, size of the sore and whether infectious bacteria are present.  

Seeking justice when injuries occur because of elder abuse 

Some patients, such as those who have suffered a severe stroke, cannot speak for themselves and have difficulty alerting loved ones to the fact that they are being abused. This is why family members must closely monitor their loved one’s health and pay attention to the care environment in a nursing home. When bedsores or other injuries occur because of negligence or other forms of elder abuse, a personal injury claim may be filed in civil court against all parties deemed responsible.