Watching a loved one grow old is hard, and having to place them in a nursing home can be difficult. After spending a lot of time trying to select a place that will treat your loved one with dignity and respect, you hope they get the love and care that you would provide if moving them into your home instead. And you certainly don’t want to learn they are receiving less than proper case. But, sadly, nursing home neglect cases happen. And you might find out about it through the appearance of bed sores in your parent or another elderly resident.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect Cases
If you decide to place your loved one in a nursing home, make sure that they are being treated appropriately and that their needs are being met. The elderly are a vulnerable group. And they may not be able to alert you to problems they may be having in the care facility. Bed sores can be a red flag that something is amiss. In some cases, they signify nursing home neglect. It is the care home’s responsibility to ensure that bed sores don’t develop.
These skin leseions are also called pressure ulcers or pressure sores. More facts about bed sores are:
1. Inactivity Causes Bed Sores
If your loved one develops bed sores, it can be a sign of nursing home neglect. Elderly patients may need help with mobility or they will develop bed sores on certain areas of the body due to constant pressure on that area. A good care plan will ensure that the elderly are being attended to and receiving adequate movement throughout the day.
2. Bed Sores have 4 Stages
It’s important to know that there are 4 stages of bedsores, with stage 4 being the worst and stage 1 being the mildest. Furthermore, recognizing these stages are crucial when recognizing nursing home neglect.
A Stage 1 bed sore, for example, commonly appears as a rash, and steps should be taken immediately to help the patient and address any neglect within the care center. Early treatment is most beneficial to your loved one in terms of recovery.
3. Bed Sores can be Fatal
Left untreated, bed sores can quickly progress from stage 1 to stage 4. At this late stage, antibiotics, wound care, and even surgery might be necessary.
As infections can get more severe, they must be kept under control. Otherwise, an elderly resident can sadly pass away from complications from the infection and surgery. That’s a big reason to speak up against nursing home neglect as soon as possible if you think it could be happening to someone!
4. Any Part of the Body can have Bed Sores
Bed sores typically affect the bony areas of the body. In particular, pressure sores usually develop on the:
- Lower back
However, it is possible to develop these sores on the elbows, knees, and heels too. Any part of the body that isn’t moved can be susceptible to developing pressure ulcers.
5. Bed Sores Develop Quickly
A bed sore can develop in only 2 hours. That’s why it is extremely important for the cargiver to move your loved one if they can’t move themselves.
If your loved one gets bed sores, a conversation with the nursing facility is a must so that they get proper treatment. Plus, if nursing home neglect is happening then bringing attention to it can help not only the person you care so much about but also other elderly people living under the same roof.
Conclusions about Nursing Home Neglect Cases
Caring for senior family members can be difficult, especially if they aren’t able to speak up for themselves. When you choose nursing homes and care centers, the expectation is that they will treat your loved ones with respect.
Sadly, though, not all facilities follow care plans and medical guidelines every time. So, make sure you stay in the loop about what’s happening with your aging parent or another elderly person who is close to you. That way you make sure their needs are being met and, if that’s not the case, it’s a possible red flag of nursing home neglect. It is then imperative for you to speak up for those who cannot.
What is your opinion of nursing homes? Do you know someone living in one and how do you see their experience there?
33 thoughts on “Nursing Home Neglect Cases: 5 Facts about Bed Sores”
Such an accurate post! I’ve worked in some awful places as a traveler, and you are so right about facilities not adhering to care plans and guidelines. Its very sad. I love when families are in to visit their loved ones on a daily basis or almost daily and active with their care.
Thanks for explaining your own experiences here… It’s true that families need to be an active part of their loved one’s care, even when they go into a nursing home.
Hi Christy, another thought provoking and important blog post. I just wanted to add my experience here of “bed sores” as since Mom came out of hospital last October she has been in a hospital bed in our lounge and has experienced what we refer to here in the UK as “skin tears” and more recently a “moisture lesion”. Skin Tears can happen whether the person is well looked after or not. I actually watched the skin on Mom’s leg tear as she moved her leg. This is because the skin is so frail and dry these days, even the slightest movement can cause it to tear. We have experienced a number of these on the legs over the months. They had to be carefully washed, dressed and checked by the district nurse twice a week until they healed.
Mom also had skin tears on her bottom, again due to the skin being frail and weak, being in bed for long periods, plus wearing incontinence pants and acid from urine getting onto the skin. These can be so sore and as you very rightly point out, need to be looked at, checked and treated correctly to heal and not become something far worse.
The skin tears/sores can occur anywhere. I have found that washing Mom’s skin daily with an antimicrobial emollient, which is prescribed by our doctor, has made Mom’s skin much softer and less likely to tear.
For the bottom area, we use (here in the UK) Proshield Wash which cleans the skin of bodily discharge waste and neutralises the acid and then we apply Proshield Cream which forms a barrier to keep the skin as clear as possible of skin tears/moisture lesions. Best practice is for pants changes three times a day especially if there is a moisture lesion. Cavilon is also a really good barrier cream.
It may be helpful for readers to know that if you use a bowl of warm water to dip your Tena wipes into before dabbing the person, it isn’t such a cold shock to the skin. Another tip is to spray some of the proshield wash into the warm water and then spray some onto the wipe – rather than spraying direct onto the bottom as that too can cause a shock to the person as it is cold.
As a carer I might actually blog about this myself :) Sorry for going on for so long Christy. Dawn xx
Thank you Dawn for sharing what works for easing the pain of your mom’s torn skin and sores. I can’t shake this feeling that I want to help you care for her and wish I lived closer to do so. I’m thankful you take such care with her living arrangements, hygeine, and overall comfort. Bless you xo
Bless you lovely Christy, wouldn’t it be great if we lived closer to each other. But you know it’s so good that we’ve connected so honestly and thoughtfully on our blogging journeys and your various posts help me more than you know. Thank you 😊 xxx
Oh Dawn, your words are the perfect way to end my work day. It’s with so much love that I send you a hug! Please take time for you this weekend, even just for a few minutes. xo
I’m so happy I added some sparkle to your working day Christy. Have a lovely weekend xxx
You radiate sparkles, Dawn! xo
Scary… and important to be educated on.
It saddens me to think older people aren’t always getting the respect they deserve…
Me too! There are cultures that revere their elders, but ours is not one.
It is so sad when people are mistreated in nursing homes. The worst cases sometimes make the news. I have seen some good nursing homes as well as bad ones. When I was a teenager, one summer, I volunteered in a nursing home.
If a friend or relative ends up in a nursing home, the best thing that relatives or friends can do to assure their safety is to visit frequently. Those who are left alone with few visitors probably suffer the worst fate.
When my mother-in-law had to be placed in a nursing home, we visited daily and often several times a day between my husband’s visits and mine. We caught some things and effected some needed changes by doing so.
That’s great that you were very hands-on with your mother-in-law in the home. As you say, be present. It’s okay to ask questions of care workers as you have the best intentions of loved ones. Thanks Peggy.
Yes its a sad fact Christy, many thanks for you highlighting this Christy. Pressure sores are very painful.. I know when my Dad came home from hospital to be cared for in his last days at home by my sister and I.. We had a nurse come in to dress his bedsore.
Wishing you well my friend <3
I’m glad you were there for your dad, Sue. What an incredible man he must have been to raised a lovely spirit such as yourself xo
Bless you for saying that Christy. He was very special to me 💕
Hugs, Sue. Many hugs.
Neglect of the aged, who have made their contribution to society, is totally abhorrent and unacceptable. Thanks for highlighting a small part of this issue, Christy.
Hopefully more care homes than not are following guidelines and providing good care. Thanks Norah.
The care home my aunt was in for her final year were wonderful with her. I would hope with this knowledge should I have to face putting my mum in a care home that I find one just as good, because in the past, years ago, some have not been great and I read last year of a care home shut because they had not followed procedures and so lots of things were apparently wrong with this care home. This was closed due to an uninvited visit to the home to inspect. They were already in the warning area on a inspected visit by appointment earlier.
I feel that due to lots of unfortunate cases highlighted in care homes in the past in the UK that even made it on TV documentaries because of cruelty people faced that were supposed to be looked after, that nursing homes are now expected to deliver. I imagine that checks are probably even more thorouht to make sure nothing is missed. So I am hoping that care homes are what they are and no more where there is neglect.
It’s just such a terrible thing to envision for someone we care about or ourselves in our final stages!
It is. One day we are all going to need support in old and nursing home could be one of them. Including those that have been cruel to people in their care. It’s terrifying thought when we are at the mercy of receiving care, that there is someone who is so cruel and uncaring.
That’s exactly what I fear!
Me too. My mum, I will try to keep her out of a nursing home as long as possible, but if it had to happen, then I hope the nursing home my aunt was looked after in, or the one my cousin viewed for her mum with her dad, that she viewed with her dad, before her dad chosen the one he chose.
I be aiming to not be in one if I could help it but you never know where life takes you.
Yes hopefully we’ll be able to be in one of the good ones. I don’t want to say every nursing home doesn’t care because it’s not fair to generalize. For those caring facilities out there that maintain high standards I hope more people go there and that they thrive.
Yes, it’s a few bad ones that make the rest to be concerned about, because of the few that have been caught out for not caring. It makes harder I reckon for those genuine caring homes now checks are more thorough. They are more thorough here in last few years.
Even this year, I read about a nursing home now closed down because they did not keep to standards.
At least there is a bit of comfort in knowing that the “bad” nursing homes get checked and shut down if they’re not up to par. Thanks Liz for such a thoughtful discussion here!
I don’t know how the checks are over there, but I believe checks here are more thorough than they used to be. I have certainly seen nursing homes under the spotlight in papers, because checks shown that some had to improve. This particular nursing home had more than one check where there were areas of concern and after still not meeting the standards, meant it was closed down and residents there found other care homes. CQC that do checks here in the UK, on their website you can look up care homes and see how they were rated, which I think is very handy when looking up a nursing home for a loved one.
Thanks for letting me know about the UK nursing home checks, Liz. Yes I agree that rating are handy to look up when deciding where to put a loved one if a care home is the best thing for them.