Having to place a loved one in a nursing home can cause conflicting emotions. You may have gone over the pros and cons of utilizing a care facility, but you may still have felt guilty over not having the ability to care for your loved one yourself. However, you may not have the medical knowledge, skills or even time to provide your loved one with the care and attention he or she needs.
In the end, you believed that round-the-clock care at a Kentucky nursing facility would work in your family member’s best interests. Unfortunately, you began to suspect that the staff was not providing as much care and attention as your loved one needed. Now, you have reason to believe that neglect has occurred.
Signs of bedsores
A major red flag that could point to negligence in a nursing facility is the presence of bedsores on an elderly individual. Many people who need full-time care have difficulty moving, even turning themselves over in bed. As a result, staff members should take the time to turn patients over in bed, help patients sit up, ensure that they do not stay in the same position for too long in a wheelchair, and generally help mobility challenged or immobile patients avoid continual pressure on a single part of the body.
Bedsores, or pressure sores, result when blood cannot reach the skin for more than two or three hours. Pressure can cut off the blood supply and lead to these wounds if a patient remains in the same position for hours on end. You may have concerns about bedsores if your loved one shows signs of injury at any of these four stages:
- Stage one involves the skin having a red appearance and feeling warm to the touch. Your loved one may complain that the area itches, burns or hurts in general.
- Stage two involves a wound that looks more serious, including appearing as a blister, open sore or a scrape. Discoloration and pain are commonly also present.
- Stage three wounds have damage below the skin and can have a dented appearance.
- Stage four wounds are the most severe and can affect tendons, bones, joints and muscles. These wounds are often large and pose a serious risk for infection.
Seeing any of these issues with your loved one’s skin can come as a shock. After all, you trusted the nursing staff to provide care that you could not, and instead, they have neglected your family member and let him or her come to harm.
What can you do?
Unfortunately, bedsores can pose serious threats to patients’ health, especially those who are elderly or have underlying conditions. Your loved one may need additional medical care to treat the wounds and could suffer lasting effects. If you believe that nursing home negligence resulted in these injuries, you may want to look into your legal options for seeking compensation and justice for your loved one’s pain and suffering and other damages.