Mistreatment of our elderly loved ones in nursing homes and similar facilities, including assisted living facilities and hospitals, has become an epidemic in our country. Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are at an all-time high, and we expect the numbers of cases of abuse and neglect to be even higher because so many of these victims are not able to report the abuse and/or neglect. Many nursing home residents do not have the cognitive ability to report the abuse, or they fear that reporting the abuse will only result in further mistreatment. In addition, reductions in payments by Medicare has resulted in companies hiring cheap and poorly trained staff who cannot adequately meet the needs of the patients.
If your elderly loved one has suffered at the hands of a caretaker or has been neglected to the point of developing bed sores, then you need an experienced, compassionate nursing home abuse attorney such as Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Physical Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are many signs and symptoms that your loved one is being abused. Bruises may appear, broken bones may occur, and lacerations and even burns may occur. If your loved one is neglected, he or she may appear to be unsanitary or may be wearing dirty clothing. He or she may be malnourished or dehydrated. All of these signs and symptoms are dreadful, and what’s worse is that the victim may not be able to speak for him or herself due to dementia or some other form of cognitive deterioration. Bed sores are an unfortunate, yet common, occurrence in nursing homes whose staff members simply are not doing their jobs properly. Bed sores are almost always preventable by proper nursing care.
Bed sores, medically known as “decubitus ulcers,” are a common symptom of nursing home neglect. If a patient is not moved frequently (to maintain proper circulation) and is forced to lie in the same position day in and day out, then bed sores will develop. Bed sores are very painful and can even lead to death. If left untreated, bed sores can lead to severe pain, gangrene, the need for limb amputation, or death (which would be a wrongful death case). While bed sores may be one of the most common problems amongst nursing home patients, they are also the most avoidable.
Bed Sores Can be Prevented
If proper care is given, bed sores will not occur at all. Bed sores develop when the skin remains in contact with the same surface for a long period of time. If patients are properly exercised and turned, then bed sores will not develop. Nursing homes should have both the staff and equipment to adequately move even the most immobile patients. If a patient cannot move him or herself, then the staff must do it. It is that very care that families pay for and expect when they have to place their loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility or hospital.
Surgical treatment of bed sores (which involves cutting and scraping the skin, which is called “debridement”), is very painful, so preventing them is the best option. Nursing home employees are trained to know where bed sores may develop on a patient, especially on immobile patients. There are special paddings, mattresses, and cushions specifically designed to protect areas that are vulnerable to developing bed sores.
If your elderly loved one is showing signs of bed sores, then there is a very good chance he or she is being neglected. If you live in West Palm Beach, Florida and need a nursing home abuse attorney, please contact the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.