When you helped your aging parent transition to residence in a South Carolina nursing home, you no doubt expected that there might be some challenges ahead, both for you and for your loved one. Relying on professional caretakers requires a tremendous amount of trust. You can, of course, reasonably expect all care providers to act in accordance with state regulations and accepted safety standards at all times.
When you visit your loved one in a nursing home, it’s always a good idea to carefully observe his or her surroundings. You can watch the interaction that takes place between your family member and caretakers. It’s also helpful to keep an eye on your loved one’s appearance, health and disposition. If you notice an injury, such as bed sores, it’s a red flag that quality of care isn’t up to par.
What causes bed sores?
Medical professionals often refer to bed sores as “pressure ulcers.” They are caused by pressure and friction against the skin. If your loved one is partially or entirely immobile, then caretakers must make sure to turn his or her body and help him or her change positions every few hours. Failure to do so can result in bed sores.
A Level 1 bed sore might appear as an abrasion or discoloration of the skin. If caretakers don’t provide proper treatment in a timely manner, such injuries can worsen. A Level 4 bed sore deeply penetrates the skin, all the way to the bone. Such sores can become infected, which, in some cases, can turn into a life-threatening situation for an elderly person.
Professional nursing home care providers know how to safely lift a patient
There are several ways to prevent bed sores, including frequent shifting of body position, as mentioned earlier. The licensed care providers tending to your loved one’s needs also know how to lift him or her in such a way as to prevent bed sores.
They can also strategically prop pillows in sensitive body areas to reduce friction and avoid bed sore injuries. Care providers should make sure that your loved one’s skin is clean and clear from injury. If they notice a bed sore forming, they should take immediate steps to treat the injury.
Bed sores are often a sign of nursing home neglect
Sadly, if you observe bed sores on your loved one’s body, it might be a sign that he or she is not receiving quality care. If you bring the matter to an administrator’s attention and are not satisfied with the explanation given or follow-up measures taken, you can seek additional support to advocate on behalf of your family member.
Maintaining good nutrition, circulation, body movement and cleanliness are the easiest means for avoiding bed sores. If your loved one is unable to speak, he or she might not be able to tell you if neglect is occurring. If you suspect a problem and want the matter investigated, don’t take “No” for answer.