When elderly individuals lose their ability to move freely, they often depend on other people for their care. You may have an older loved one who lives in a nursing home or assisted care facility due to this and other health issues. Though you certainly hope that the staff at the facility goes far and beyond to ensure the wellbeing of your family member, certain factors may cause concerns.
A common issue that arises for patients with limited mobility relates to bedsores or pressure sores. These sores can appear in various places on the body and pose different health risks. Though bedsores cannot always be prevented, the often arise due to negligence.
Areas of concern
If you suspect that your loved one may not receive the mobility assistance that he or she needs, you could have a legitimate concern about bedsores. If the individual typically remains wheelchair bound, checking the buttocks area, shoulder blades, spine and the backs of extremities or other areas that rest against the chair may prove wise.
If your family member remains mostly in the bed, different areas could suffer effects. For a bedridden person, the most common areas of concern include back and sides of the head, shoulder blades, hips and lower back. You may also wish to check heels, ankles and behind the knees.
Individuals at risk
As mentioned, immobility can put your loved one at risk for potentially developing bedsores. However, other factors could also place him or her at an increased risk. Those factors include:
- Lack of sensory perception
- Blood flow issues
Though some of these factors may not be preventable, nursing home negligence could lead to malnutrition and dehydration that increases the possibility for pressure sores.
Though bedsores may not seem like a substantial health issue, they can easily cause problems to arise. Depending on the specific nature of the wound, the resulting problems could prove serious. If your loved one develops a fever and the sore site shows signs of infection, he or she may need immediate medical attention.
If you believe that negligence on the part of nursing home staff resulted in your loved one developing bedsores and subsequent health issues, you may wonder how to address the problem. Luckily, you do have legal options that could allow you to seek justice and compensation for the lack of proper care provided to your vulnerable family member.