Placing your loved one in a nursing home is a very stressful and difficult decision. It is important that your loved one be provided the same loving care that he or she would receive at home. Part of this care should include turning your bedbound or chair bound loved one every two to four hours, depending on their risk for pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores or pressure sores.
Pressure ulcers form as a result of prolonged pressure on a bony area of the body such as the heel of the foot, the hip, the tailbone, the elbow, or the ankle. These sores can also be caused by friction, such as exposed skin rubbing on a bed sheet or by shear, which happens when two surfaces move in an opposite direction.
An example of shear would be a person sliding down on a bed because one side is elevated.
If your loved one is unable to turn without assistance, the nursing home staff should be turning your loved one on a certain schedule to ensure that your loved one does not develop a pressure ulcer. Other precautions can also be taken to reduce the pressure on your loved one’s risk areas for sores.
Your loved one can be provided with an air flow mattress, a cushion designed to prevent or heal bed sores, or specialized inflatable boots to reduce the risk of heel or ankle sores.
There are several signs to look for on your loved one to assist you in knowing whether they are being properly cared for.
If you or your loved one notice any discoloration of skin, swelling, tender areas, pus-like draining, or any risk areas that are warmer to the touch than other areas on the body, you will want to make sure that the staff at the nursing home is taking further precautions to avoid pressure ulcers.
These signs are indicative of your loved one not being properly turned or not being provided the proper preventative equipment to reduce the occurrence of bed sores. When you see these signs, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the nursing staff or your loved one’s physician so that the practices can be addressed.
If your loved one has developed pressure ulcers due to not being turned at the proper intervals or not being provided with the proper preventative equipment, our Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy are here to help.
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