Generally speaking, bedsores happen when the skin doesn’t get proper blood flow. A bedsore — otherwise known as a pressure ulcer — can form at the spot where the blood flow has been restricted, and this can be incredibly painful. Bedsores can also get infected and cause life-threatening health problems. Unfortunately, bedsores are often suffered by elderly people in nursing homes.
Most nursing homes take care of their residents and do everything they can to prevent bedsores. However, nursing home neglect is a reality in care facilities throughout New Mexico. Below are some things that nursing homes and assisted living facilities should do to prevent bedsores.
Regularly reposition the elderly person
Every two or three hours, a staff member at the facility should go to the elderly person and help them move to a new position. This allows blood flow to be consistent to all areas of the skin, and repositioning is typically the best way to prevent bedsores.
Ensure proper nutrition
To fight off an infection, the body needs the right vitamins and minerals. It is important for elderly people to have a good, healthy diet. That includes healthy food, as well as water to prevent dehydration.
Help the elderly person sit up rather than lie down all the time
A person who is sitting upright is less likely to get bedsores than someone who is lying down all the time. Additionally, a person sitting in a wheelchair or in a bed should be regularly repositioned. If an elderly person is in a wheelchair, special padding in the chair may be necessary to reduce pressure that can cause sores.
If you believe your loved one has developed bedsores or other complications due to nursing home neglect, you may have legal grounds to hold the nursing home accountable. To learn more, please see our New Mexico elder abuse FAQ.