Sometimes the abuse of elders in nursing homes does not involve actual physical contact. In some instances, such mistreatment involves not providing residents with the care they need and deserve, which may lead to injuries or health complications such as bed sores.
According to MedlinePlus.gov, bedsores occur when staying in the same position too long causes damage to areas of the skin. Also known as pressure ulcers, these wounds often develop on the back, hips, ankles, elbows, heels and other places where the skin closely covers the bones.
Positioning to limit pressure
According to MayoClinic.org, repositioning aids in preventing bedsores from developing. When in a bed or chair for an extended period, people should adjust their positions to help relieve pressure. Those able may lift themselves, while those who do not have enough upper body strength sometimes need help to change their positioning.
Caring for the skin
Skin care also plays an important role in avoiding pressure ulcers. In addition to checking the skin daily for signs of such sores, people also benefit from keeping their skin clean and dry. Having a regular cleansing routine helps limit the skin’s exposure to urine, stool or moisture that may contribute to the development of bedsores. Using moisture barrier creams and frequently changing clothing and bedding also assist with preventing such wounds.
With appropriate care in the nursing home setting, most residents will not develop pressure ulcers. Should they, however, those responsible for their care may bear financial liability for the associated losses, including their pain and suffering and the costs of the necessary medical care.