Entrusting another person or entity to provide quality care for your elder loved one is always difficult. Chances are, you want to believe that the care he or she will receive while in a nursing home or assisted living facility is equal or superior to the care you, yourself, would provide if you could.
Unfortunately, however, this is often not the case, with many American nursing homes suffering from chronic understaffing and a range of related issues that can impact quality of care. When nursing homes cannot maintain an adequate number of workers on staff, the quality of care residents receive typically suffers, and in some cases, residents develop what are known as bedsores, or pressure ulcers.
What causes bedsores?
Bedsores are often the result of prolonged pressure on a nursing home resident’s skin, and they most frequently develop in patients who have limited mobility, such as those confined to a bed or wheelchair. This is where the nursing home understaffing issue comes into play. When there are not enough staff members around to regularly shift patients in their beds or help otherwise immobile patients move around and reposition themselves, bedsores often develop. This can happen quickly, and while, in some cases, they go away on their own over time, some fail to heal completely, and others fail to heal at all.
If you have concerns about your loved one possibly developing bedsores while in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may want to be on alert for certain signs. Agitated skin is one possible indication, so keep an eye out for any noticeable changes in your loved one’s skin color or texture. You should also be on alert for areas of your loved one’s skin that might be unusually cool or warm, and unnatural swelling or pus may, too, indicate the presence of bedsores.
Often, bedsores develop in tough-to-spot places, such as on a resident’s tailbone, or on the back of his or her head. If you have suspicions about bedsores, do not ignore it, because in some cases, they can lead to far more serious issues.