Articles Posted in Bedsores

shutterstock_680112613-300x163Pressure ulcers are severe and in some cases life-threatening medical conditions. Unfortunately, bed sores and pressure ulcers affect a high number of residents and patients living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. As per studies, as many as 1 in 5 residents in these facilities suffer signs of pressure ulcers at one point. The fact is most pressure ulcers and bed sores are a form of elder abuse and neglect.

Regardless of what the nursing home tells you, these are most often caused when a resident does not have their basic needs taken care of. These injuries don’t occur overnight. You should speak with an experienced nursing home attorney if you believe your loved one suffered such type of neglect.

What are Pressure Ulcers?

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2020/07/shutterstock_1422187700-20.07.14-300x200.jpgIt can be difficult choosing the right nursing home for your loved ones. You should seek information about previous safety violations and nursing home ratings and reputation before making a decision. With that said, recent reports suggest that the information you find online may sometimes be misleading, incorrect, or incomplete. Moreover, it is not possible to identify whether a certain facility will pose any risks to the residents in the future – simply by looking at its history

Reputable nursing homes with excellent past records have been known to place elderly residents at risk of life-threatening injuries. Correlating with this, this doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore their safety track record. Instead, on top of regular checks, you should look out for the following red flags when it comes to nursing homes. This should help you find a safe and dependable nursing facility for your loved ones. 
Red Flag 1: High rate of Covid-19 deaths and infections nursing homes with a high percentage of Covid-19 infections and deaths may not be taking the life and health needs of their residents seriously. They may not want to pay for proper disinfection and sanitization measures. They may be failing at infection control measures and implementing safety protocols. They may not even ensure that their staff members are fully vaccinated.

shutterstock_16983095711-300x200Nursing home residents have the right to be free from any form of elder abuse and be treated with respect. The use of restraints when unwarranted can form part of nursing home abuse. In some valid cases, restraints are required to prevent residents from harming themselves and others. Overuse of restraints without consent is abusive. You may be eligible for legal action if you suspect your loved one was abused in a nursing home facility.

Types of Restraints Used in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes can use two types of restraints on residents for restricting their movement –
chemical and physical. Unfortunately, these restraints are used by staff that is often understaffed, overworked, and unwilling to use other effective safety measures. This is why both chemical and physical restraints can be considered nursing home abuse.

Falls are among the most common injuries in nursing homes among the elderly. Statistics show that nearly thousands of California and Washington residents succumb to fatal injuries because of fall-related injuries. Elderly people are at a greater risk of severe injuries because of osteoporosis, which can make the bones very fragile. This makes the injuries longer to heal and leaves them open to infections. https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2022/01/Screen-Shot-2022-01-26-at-3.30.32-PM-300x195.png

Most Nursing Home Falls Go Unreported

The majority of nursing homes and care facilities don’t report fall accidents, even to the resident’s loved ones. On average, most accidents can be prevented with the right measures. However, short staffing and other measures of cutting costs prevent nursing home facilities from protecting their residents. Wandering is a leading cause of slip and fall accidents in nursing homes. Older individuals find it difficult to be conscious of their physical abilities. They may attempt to stand up and walk without knowing their capabilities. Medication plays another major role in fall accidents. There are certain psychotropic drugs and other medications that can impact normal brain functioning. These medications cause confusion, drowsiness, and sedation. Fall accidents because of medications are particularly common in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

shutterstock_1741881821-300x199Pressure ulcers affect a high number of residents and patients living in assisted living and nursing home facilities. This severe condition can affect 1 in 5 residents and patients in these facilities. Pressure ulcers are often caused when nursing home staff fails in caring for the basic needs of a resident. This is a form of elder abuse and neglect that happens over some time.

What Exactly is a Pressure Ulcer?

Pressure ulcers are also called bed sores or pressure sores. These are skin injuries that are caused by persistent friction and pressure in certain areas of the body. Buttocks, back, elbows, heels, hips, and ankles are the most common areas for these ulcers. Residents that have limited mobility, such as bed-bound or those in wheelchairs, are at a greater risk of developing pressure ulcers. This is because they spend long periods of time in a single position.

One of the largest generations in American history is beginning to transition into the elderly stage of human life.  In this stage, many people become less independent and, as a result, require assisted living and clinical care.  As aging individuals become dependents, they tend to lose their mobility.  Pressure ulcers are a direct result of the inability of a person to reposition their body unassisted.  In nursing homes and hospitals, elderly people are too often neglected and the price they pay can be severe.

Pressure Ulcers and Their Stages

Pressure ulcers (often referred to as bedsores, decubitus ulcers, and pressure sores) are a form of breakdown of the skin caused by prolonged and unalleviated pressure, incontinence, dirty or untidy bedsheets, and more.  Typically, they form in areas such as the heels, hips, buttocks, tailbone, shoulder blades, and elbows.  They are categorized based on severity:

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2022/02/Screen-Shot-2022-02-23-at-3.08.42-PM-300x198.pngUnfortunately, elder abuse is a common problem for many elderly adults. It can manifest in many forms, including abandonment. It can happen at home or in a facility. Read on to learn about abandonment in nursing homes.

 
What is Considered Abandonment in a Nursing Home?

Abandonment in general refers to when someone deserts another person or leaves them in a specific place. Specifically, abandonment in a nursing home occurs when a nursing home fails to give the resident the required care that they are obligated to provide.

Falls and Nursing Home Residents

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Falls are a common reason for patients to go into a nursing home. People often treat falls as an inevitable part of the aging process; however, this is an exaggeration. Yes, falls can accompany elderly adults, but sometimes they can be prevented. It’s important to understand the dangers associated with falls, the factors that contribute to falls, and how to prepare accordingly.

What Causes Falls in Elderly Adults?

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2020/10/20.10.16-300x200.jpgOne big fear many families have regarding nursing homes is the lack of appropriate and personalized care for their loved ones. Over the years, there have been countless cases of the elderly being abused and neglected in long term care facilities and nursing homes. Families need to be aware that neglect and abuse in a nursing home do not always present with obvious physical injuries, but rather as emotional abuse. In the majority of cases, elderly patient abuse in nursing homes is due to the actions or inactions of the nursing home staff.

What type of neglect can occur in nursing homes?

  1. Medical Health Neglect: This occurs when the nursing staff fails to attend to, prevent, or treat an existing or new health problem in the senior. For example, patients with strokes who are bedridden are prone to bedsores. Universally there are established protocols to help prevent these skin problems, which are sometimes not followed. For instance, diabetic patients not only need their medications/insulin on time, the nursing staff has to simultaneously monitor the blood sugars, which if not controlled can lead to worsening of any open wound, urinary tract infection, or sepsis. Any time a senior has a change in his/her health status like the development of confusion, weakness, inability to walk or speak, this must be reported immediately to the primary care provider to determine the cause. Failure to do so can seriously compromise the health of the senior.

Southern California elders – particularly those residing in nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities – are unfortunately prone to developing life-threatening bedsores. Bedsores, which are also known as pressure ulcers, can lead to a host of health problems, particularly in elders whose health may already be compromised. Similarly, because many elders may be confined to a bed or wheelchair, their risk for developing these sores is increased.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

People are at risk of developing pressure sores if they have difficulty moving and are unable to easily change position while seated or in bed. Immobility may be due to:

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