Nursing home abuse can take many forms, but one of the most potentially damaging to an elder person’s well-being is the development of bedsores. These skin and tissue injuries occur when someone has a limited range of movement or cannot move on his or her own and the pressure opens sores on the skin. According to the National Law Review, the federal government released a statement on these injuries, stating they should not occur in patients unless those individuals suffer from issues that make the sores inevitable.
Bedsores move through different stages and understanding the severity of each may help relatives of the elderly decide whether their elder suffers from nursing home neglect.
In the earliest stage, a bedsore may not look like a serious wound. The area may appear on the back, the backs of the legs or the buttocks. The area may feel warmer than other areas on the body.
When a stage-one bedsore is not addressed, the skin may break open over the next few days, and the area may form an open sore. This will likely feel painful to the touch and have slightly ragged or rough edges.
During this stage, the sore deepens and starts to affect the layers of the dermis under the skin. It may appear discolored and leak fluid.
At this stage, the injury affects muscle and may penetrate into the elder’s bone. This is the most harmful type of bedsore and may result in fever and infection.
Bedsores can seriously impact the health of any elder, especially once they progress beyond the first stage. Consistent monitoring of a loved one and his or her care can help prevent this type of abuse.