There are certain health issues that people associate with advanced age. For example, it is common knowledge that older adults are more vulnerable to being hurt as a result of a fall than younger people are. Those who are in their golden years may also have compromised immune systems that neither fend off infections as effectively nor heal physical wounds as quickly as younger bodies can.
Older adults can also develop Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that affect their cognitive ability. Frequently, those with health concerns will end up in nursing homes for their own safety. Unfortunately, even older adults in nursing homes are vulnerable to certain kinds of injuries.
For example, bedsores are a medical condition with a strong correlation with nursing home life. Are such wounds inevitable when someone moves into a nursing home facility?
Most bedsores are preventable medical problems
There are sometimes older adults who have health issues that put them at substantially increased risk of developing bedsores. These wounds, sometimes also called pressure ulcers, form when someone remains in the same position for an extended length of time. The weight of their body pushing down on a bed or chair can lead to inflammation and irritation of the skin.
When people move or apply cushioning, that irritation will eventually subside. Unfortunately, older adults in nursing homes may not get the support they need to avoid the development of bedsores. Even more concerning is how staff members at the facility might fail to identify the bedsores after they form, thereby allowing them to worsen.
Eventually, bedsores can become open wounds that put people at risk of major infections. Nursing home workers can often prevent the development of bedsores with frequent rotation, assisted movement and changing cushioning, and they can also treat bedsores that do form so that individuals don’t end up with infections or debilitating pain.
When the staff at medical facilities fail to monitor patients properly or when they are spread too thin because of company staffing practices, the patients at a nursing home may suffer injuries and illnesses caused by the substandard care in the facility.
Pursuing a nursing home negligence claim is sometimes possible if an older adult has major medical consequences because of preventable and improperly treated bedsores. Seeking legal guidance can help loved ones to determine whether taking legal action is appropriate under the circumstances.