Elderly people in South Carolina who require around-the-clock care often stay at nursing homes. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you want to make sure that they are being looked after properly. One of the clearest indications that a nursing home is not providing adequate care is when residents have bedsores.
What is a bedsore?
A bedsore, also called a pressure ulcer, is a wound on the skin that is caused by too much pressure on one part of the body. Bedsores often develop because a patient is not repositioned regularly or their clothes or diapers aren’t changed. Other factors that can lead to an increased risk of bedsores include:
- Poor nutrition
- Thin skin
Elderly people in nursing homes are very vulnerable to bedsores since they are unable to care for their own basic needs. Elderly patients also tend to have thinner skin and medical conditions that could increase their risk of bedsores. It is the responsibility of nursing home staff to ensure that elderly residents do not develop nursing home injuries like bedsores.
How serious are bedsores?
Bedsores can start out as a red mark on unbroken skin and then develop into painful wounds that become potentially life-threatening infections. As soon as a patient has any indication of a bedsore, caregivers should take action to treat it. Late-stage bedsores can lead to sepsis and the need for surgery.
What to do if you see bedsores on a nursing home patient
If you notice that a nursing home patient has bedsores, this could be a sign of serious nursing home abuse and neglect. You may want to get in contact with local law enforcement authorities, a government agency such as the National Center on Elder Abuse or an elder law attorney.