Admitting a loved one into a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. Unfortunately, most of the time, you are left simply hoping that the nursing home will take the best possible care of your family member. This does not always happen.
Nursing home neglect is rampant throughout the country, and Illinois is not immune to it. Too many elderly citizens suffer from painful bedsores and other injuries that could easily be prevented with proper care.
A nursing home may try to brush off bedsores as not a big deal, but bedsores are extremely serious. They are not only uncomfortable for the patient, but they can also expose muscles, ligaments, and even bones. When left untreated, they can become infected, which leads to many other problems.
If your loved one has developed bedsores in a nursing home, it is important that you speak to an Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm as soon as possible. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., we have earned a reputation for standing up for nursing home patients who have suffered due to devastating neglect and abuse. Let us help your family now.
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What Is a Bedsore?
Pressure ulcers, more commonly called bedsores, are injuries to the skin and the tissue underneath. They are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, such as lying down in bed for too long without movement.
Bedsores are most likely to form on boney areas of the body, such as heels, ankles, hips, and the tailbone. Individuals most at risk for bedsores are those who have limited mobility and cannot reposition themselves when they are in bed or a wheelchair. Bedsores can be prevented by staff repositioning the patient regularly or encouraging the patient to move around, if possible.
What Causes Bedsores?
Pressure constantly applied to the skin is the main cause of bedsores. However, there are other factors such as poor nutrition, poor circulation, and moisture that can contribute to the presence, and the severity, of bedsores. Excessive moisture can contribute to bedsores developing on the skin, as can irritants such as urine and feces. Friction is also a main cause of bedsores, such as when a person is lying on a bed and has the sheet pulled from underneath them.
What to Do If You Notice Bedsores
There is no excuse for untreated bedsores or other injuries in a nursing home. This is a sign of nursing home neglect, and you should take it seriously. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, there are some steps you can take. These include:
- Remain calm: It is easy to lose your temper when you learn that your loved one is being mistreated. However, it will help you and your loved one if you remain calm and take steps to remedy the situation.
- Ask the nursing home staff: The staff should be able to explain any injury that you notice on your loved one. Ask when the bedsore was first noticed and what has been done to treat it.
- Ask your loved one: Ask your loved one what happened and about their care. Sometimes, a person may not want to admit to abuse or neglect because they are embarrassed, or because they do not have the capacity to do so. In this case, it is important to simply reassure your loved one that you will make things right.
- Report the neglect or abuse: You must report the abuse to the Illinois ombudsman. If your loved one is in imminent danger, you should call the police and have them assist with removing your family member from the home as soon as possible.
- Call an attorney: If your loved one has been neglected in a nursing home, it is important to understand your family’s legal rights. Our attorneys know how to hold nursing homes accountable. We will fight for justice for your loved one and full compensation for the damages suffered.
Bedsores are not like other injuries to the skin. Bedsore symptoms are very distinguishable. They include:
- Changes in the color or texture of the skin
- Drainage from the site of the sore that appears pussy
- Areas of the skin that feel warmer or cooler to the touch than other areas
- Areas of skin that are very tender
These symptoms will range depending on the severity of the bedsore. Bedsores go through four different stages depending on their depth, severity, and other characteristics. The higher the stage the bedsore is in, the worse the symptoms are, and more of those signs appear.
How to Treat Bedsores
Due to the fact that bedsores fall into one of four stages, the treatment of bedsores depends on the stage it is in.
Mild bedsores that are still in stage one can simply be cleaned with a mild soap and water. A moisture-barrier lotion can then be applied to the wound to keep moisture out, preventing the sore from becoming worse.
When bedsores advance beyond stage one, they may require treatment from a medical professional. A doctor or nurse may clean the wound with a saline solution and cover it with a bandage meant specifically for bedsores.
When bedsores become infected, individuals typically must take an antibiotic to treat the infection and any symptoms associated with it, such as a fever.
Concerned About a Loved One? Talk to Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Now
If your loved one is suffering from bedsores due to nursing home neglect, it is important that you speak to one of our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers now. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., we understand how devastating these situations can be for a family. Our compassionate team will answer all your questions and work quickly to protect your loved one from further suffering.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. There is no charge for us to begin work on your case, and you only pay us if we recover money for you.