For many New Mexico residents, the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is a difficult one. Although it is emotional and worrisome, it is done with the expectation that proper care will be provided. Unfortunately, some nursing homes have issues in which residents are mistreated, abused or simply not watched as they should be. This can spark illness, injuries and even death. One problem that happens frequently is when a nursing home resident develops bedsores.
A bedsore often happens to people who spend extensive time in bed or in a wheelchair or who wear a cast. Although some nursing home residents are unavoidably confined, that does not eliminate the staff’s responsibility to take action to prevent bedsores. Certain areas of the skin are prone to developing bedsores. These include the buttocks, the heels, shoulder blades, the knees’ rear and sides, and the back of the person’s head.
The staff should make sure they move the resident regularly – generally every two hours. If the person is seated in a wheelchair, their position should be changed every 15 minutes. Proper padding should be utilized to soften the bed and wheelchair. The resident must be kept clean and dry. People who do not receive proper nutrition tend to be vulnerable to bedsores and healing could be negatively impacted.
For nursing home staff, it may be tempting to simply ignore people who are confined in their movements. This could lead to clear gaps in their duties to give the necessary maintenance and treatment. Failure to prevent bedsores can often be deemed nursing home neglect, because the steps to do so are relatively straightforward and require little more than adequate attention. If a loved one has bedsores and it is believed to have been due to nursing home staff failures, it is imperative to know the available alternatives. Consulting with experienced professionals can be helpful to determine the next step.