Nursing Home Neglect: Bedsores

Bedsores seem as though they are a natural part of being confined to a bed, especially in the elderly. The truth is that bedsores should not develop if the bedridden individual is rotated often enough. Bedsores can be as small as a red spot on the hip or thigh, or can be as severe as an open wound that goes all the way through to the bone. Bedsores are a sign of nursing home neglect.

Neglect can be difficult to detect, and with a smiling and friendly staff there to answer all of your questions and put on a happy face during your visit, neglect can seem like an impossibility in some situations. However, nursing home neglect is often much more prevalent than most of us are willing to believe.

At the first sign of bedsores, the situation should be handled immediately. The area should be treated and the patient should be elevated to a rotation schedule that is much more frequent, nor more than two hours between rotations. It is possible that bed sores may initially begin to develop if the patient is newly bedridden, has recently lost quite a bit of weight, or has had a recent procedure done such as surgery.

However, if the bedsores are not treated immediately with an aggressive response, then it is time to contact a lawyer. Lawyers are often able to uncover unseen and previously unnoticed neglect. Nursing home abuse lawyers are able to determine abuse and neglect often more quickly and efficiently than an emotionally involved family member.

Lawyers have a greater power of investigative skills, more experience, know the questions to ask and the questions to avoid, and how to involve law enforcement if necessary without blowing an entire case.

Lawsuits are steadily increasing around the country, which is a testimony to the sad state of affairs we as a society tend to leave our elderly in. The filing of a lawsuit does not necessarily mean that the abuse or the neglect will immediately cease.

There are occasions where poor training, a lack of educational requirements and low pay simply attract employees who mean well but do not necessarily even understand that some of their behaviors qualify as nursing home abuse.

Many people believe that bedsores are inevitable. Many professionals and even some hospital staff believe that bedsores are a natural part of adjusting to being suddenly or increasingly bedridden. This is an unfortunate misconception, however over the past ten years, abuse and rights advocates have made great strides in educating nursing home staff about the dangers of bedsores and the basic misconception that they are natural.

A high quality facility will not allow for bedsores. Abuse can happen regardless of the price tag associated with any particular facility. Quality comes in the people who work inside the home, not the amount the administration is paid.

Lawsuits can be difficult to prove, as often the victims are either unable or unwilling to speak up for themselves. It can be difficult to prosecute a nursing home abuse lawsuit when the victim is too afraid to speak up about the abuse.

After all, where else are they going to go, and complying with a lawsuit is only likely to complicate their current living situation. Regardless, a quality lawyer can proceed with a lawsuit provided the evidence is there. A victim is much more likely to be compliant and testify in a nursing home abuse lawsuit if they are made to feel safe, which in many cases means moving them to another facility.

This is not easy, nor is it inexpensive. However, without any guarantee of safety, nursing home abuse victims rarely testify or even file a complaint.

The elderly are not property, a waste of life, or material which requires warehousing. The elderly are the generation which fought to give us freedoms and opportunities we wouldn’t have had otherwise. The elderly are in fact, our future. We should be ashamed as country at the high rate of lawsuits that are filed in this country annually.

It’s not easy to be brave in the face of a lawsuit, but someone needs to step up and be the voice of the victim.

Nick Johnson is lead counsel with Johnson Law Group. Johnson represents plaintiffs in many states and focuses on injury cases involving Fen-Phen and PPH, Paxil, Mesothelioma and Nursing Home Abuse. Call 1-888-311-5522 today or visit for a free case evaluation.


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