Many of our clients at Grazian and Volpe and readers of our blogsite at myaccidentlaw.com appreciate as much information as possible to help them take care of their loved ones who live nursing homes. As our population ages, more and more families are having to make the decision whether to place their loved one in a long term care facility.
Family members justifiably have concerns about the adequacy of care in nursing home facilities – there is certainly no shortage of horror stories of patients falling, being malnourished and maltreated. As we have stated repeatedly -it is imperative that family members become active in monitoring the care plan and carefully observing the patient for signs of abuse, malnutrition, and cognitive abilities.
Bedsores are a serious danger for nursing home patients are ulcers or “bedsores” which may appears most commonly on the feet, backs and buttocks of patients who may required to spend hours in bed such as patients who are fall risks and often secured in one position.
Family members should observe whether the patient is in the same or similar position on each visit. Bed bound patients should be rotated or turned every two hours. Diabetic patients or patients with wounds or sores are more vulnerable and this practice along with skin massages to increase blood flow are crucial.
Be vigilant for signs of soiled linens or diapers that are not changed frequently. Adequate nutrition and hydration are absolutely necessary to maintaining good skin quality. Family members should assure that proper padding and cushioning should be provided at pressure points such as joint bones.
Once a patient develops bedsores, the cure can be difficult and long term. A nurse specializing in wound care should be assigned to the patient. The wounds should always be cleanly dressed and appropriate antibiotics and medications administered.
The Lloyd Miller Law Group strongly recommends that family members closely monitor their loved ones, which should included having a nurse assist with moving the patient for you to inspect the skin for signs of red or irritated skin. Unfortunately, we are often called in after the patient has developed bedsores to such an extent that a bacterial infection or sepsis has set in and the prognosis for recovery are poor.