When people get older, they get admitted to nursing homes at some point in life. Disability is the main reason the elderly population lives in such institutions as they get access to better care. According to recent data, more than 80 percent of people living in nursing homes have some form of disability. The Elderly Population Lives What’s more, most of these people need help in most of their daily activities, which is one of the primary services sought in such facilities.
Even in these homes, the elderly population is at risk of developing several complications, most of which can be prevented with proper care. One of these complications is the risk of developing bedsores, decubitus, or pressure ulcers. If left untreated, this condition can have some dire consequences. For instance, the bedsores can turn into a form of carcinoma, and in rare cases, they can lead to sepsis which is a fatal condition. Luckily, bedsores can be prevented by proper care and attention.
What Causes Bedsores?
It is no secret that the elderly population faces many challenges, one of them being mobility. Bedridden individuals are at risk of developing bedsores since they rarely move. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, form after the skin is subjected to prolonged pressure, mostly due to immobility.
Bedsores mostly form on the skin that covers bony areas of the body. This includes the tailbone, ankles, hips, and heels areas. These sores develop quickly and can become difficult to treat, which means prevention is essential.
Why the Elderly Is an at Risk Population
The elderly are more likely to develop bedsores than any other demographic. They are often confined to their beds for long times, which can cause bed sores to form. You should note that bedsores are common in the later stages of dementia or Alzheimers. This is the period when patients typically become unable to move independently. You should note that this condition is not only confined to the elderly. Anyone that stays in one position for a long time is at risk of developing bedsores. Several signs point to bedsores. First off, tender areas could be a warning sign. Changes in skin texture and color and swollen skin could also be signs. Finally, areas that feel warmer or cooler to the touch are also potential pointers.
Given the dangers that bedsores pose for patients, the nursing staff should assess the patient and formulate a care plan upon being admitted to a nursing facility. The care plan should then be adhered to since a patient who enters a facility without a pressure ulcer should not develop one in their stay. Most nursing facilities normally have a wound care specialist on-site that monitors the facility’s patients. Proper skin care routines are a norm in most nursing care facilities where any warning sign is reported to the specialist. Lastly, some hospitals use external consultants to monitor and treat patients for bed sores.
Consequences of Nursing Care Negligence
Failure to properly assess and treat a patient with bedsores can result in a negligent nursing home lawsuit. Some of the evidence that can be used to establish liability include charts and photographs, expert witness testimony, and more. Often, the death certificate or autopsy can be used to reveal that the primary cause of death was a pressure ulcer. Therefore, the surviving family members can contact Sean O’Neill to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility when death results from a pressure ulcer.