Mistreatment of our elderly loved ones in nursing homes and similar facilities,
including assisted living facilities and hospitals, has become an epidemic
in our country. Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are at an
all-time high, and we expect the numbers of cases of abuse and neglect
to be even higher because so many of these victims are not able to report
the abuse and/or neglect. Many nursing home residents do not have the
cognitive ability to report the abuse, or they fear that reporting the
abuse will only result in further mistreatment. In addition, reductions
in payments by Medicare has resulted in companies hiring cheap and poorly
trained staff who cannot adequately meet the needs of the patients.
If your elderly loved one has suffered at the hands of a caretaker or
has been neglected to the point of developing bed sores, then you need
an experienced, compassionate nursing home abuse attorney such as Craig
Goldenfarb, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Physical Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are many signs and symptoms that your loved one is being abused.
Bruises may appear, broken bones may occur, and lacerations and even burns
may occur. If your loved one is neglected, he or she may appear to be
unsanitary or may be wearing dirty clothing. He or she may be malnourished
or dehydrated. All of these signs and symptoms are dreadful, and what's
worse is that the victim may not be able to speak for him or herself due
to dementia or some other form of cognitive deterioration. Bed sores are
an unfortunate, yet common, occurrence in nursing homes whose staff members
simply are not doing their jobs properly. Bed sores are almost always
preventable by proper nursing care.
Bed sores, medically known as "decubitus ulcers," are a common symptom
of nursing home neglect. If a patient is not moved frequently (to maintain
proper circulation) and is forced to lie in the same position day in and
day out, then bed sores will develop. Bed sores are very painful and can
even lead to death. If left untreated, bed sores can lead to severe pain,
gangrene, the need for limb amputation, or death (which would be a wrongful
death case). While bed sores may be one of the most common problems amongst
nursing home patients, they are also the most avoidable.
Bed Sores Can be Prevented
If proper care is given, bed sores will not occur at all. Bed sores develop
when the skin remains in contact with the same surface for a long period
of time. If patients are properly exercised and turned, then bed sores
will not develop. Nursing homes should have both the staff and equipment
to adequately move even the most immobile patients. If a patient cannot
move him or herself, then the staff must do it. It is that very care that
families pay for and expect when they have to place their loved one in
a nursing home or assisted living facility or hospital.
Surgical treatment of bed sores (which involves cutting and scraping the
skin, which is called "debridement"), is very painful, so preventing
them is the best option. Nursing home employees are trained to know where
bed sores may develop on a patient, especially on immobile patients. There
are special paddings, mattresses, and cushions specifically designed to
protect areas that are vulnerable to developing bed sores.
If your elderly loved one is showing signs of bed sores, then there is
a very good chance he or she is being neglected. If you live in
West Palm Beach, Florida and need a nursing home abuse attorney, please contact the Law Offices
of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.