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Bed sores may be an elder abuse alert

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Elder Abuse

In nursing homes throughout Florida and the rest of the country, there are many patients who are unable to move around their room or the facility without assistance. Care providers know that immobile patients have a high risk for bed sores, which is why there is protocol and safety standards in place to help prevent them. Bed sores are often injuries that suggest neglect or elder abuse.

Many older people have sensory perception issues that impair their ability to feel pain. Therefore, just because a nursing home patient hasn’t complained of irritation or discomfort doesn’t mean bed sores are not present, or, if they are, that they are not a major concern.  On the contrary, such wounds can quickly develop into severe infections, causing cancer or bone problems. In some cases, bed sores can lead to sepsis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.

Bed sores are preventable

The following list shows examples of care nursing homes typically provide to prevent bed sores:

  • Care providers help patients reposition themselves every hour or so.
  • Adjusting the elevation of a bed can help prevent bed sores.
  • Staff members can place a cushion of other device under the legs, arms, etc., to avoid the friction that causes pressure ulcers.

Some patients may be able to lift themselves or roll over, etc., to avoid bed sores. However, immobile patients rely on staff members to do this for them.

Evidence of elder abuse or neglect

Bed sores are one of many examples of evidence that suggest elder abuse or neglect in a Florida nursing home. An adult child of a nursing home patient may request a meeting with nursing staff and administrators to discuss such issues. Local authorities and legal support may also help in investigating a suspected case of abuse or neglect.