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Understanding bedsores in a nursing home environment

Many West Virginia families depend on nursing homes to provide care and nurturing for elderly loved ones. Learning to trust that the staff of these facilities will take proper care of a family member is not always easy. Media reports of nursing home neglect and abuse can exacerbate this already difficult process. One way that you can ease your mind about the nursing home you have chosen is to learn about a common sign of abuse or neglect: bedsores.

In most cases, bedsores are entirely preventable and if they do begin to occur, swift treatment can make all the difference. Bedsores occur in patients who have limited mobility. They happen because lying or sitting in the same position for prolonged periods puts pressure on certain areas of the body. These areas include the buttocks, hips, tailbone and lower back. They can also appear around the patient's ankles, feet and heels when left in a wheelchair for too long.

Fortunately, there are early warning signs of bedsores. During the first stage of the condition, the patient or a family member may notice a rash on the skin as well as changes in the skin's temperature. The patient may also begin to feel pain or itching in the area where a bedsore is forming. At this time, the texture of the patient's skin and underlying tissue may also begin to undergo changes in texture. For example, tissue that was once firm may feel soft or almost soggy.

The very best way to prevent the formation of bedsores is to ensure that the patient receives the proper care in a nursing home. Repositioning of the patient's body is an important part of this care and failure to do so is probably indicative of negligence. If you believe your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, a personal injury lawyer can help you find satisfaction through the justice system.

Source: Nursing Home Abuse Guide, "Bedsores," accessed Sep. 13, 2016

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