The association between nursing home care and bedsores is so strong that some people think of pressure ulcers as an inevitable side effect of growing older and moving into a nursing home. While there are some people whose physical condition predisposes them to develop bedsores, they are typically still preventable. Anyone could develop these painful wounds if they remain in one position for too long.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, you should not dismiss bedsores as a mere consequence of living in such a facility because of the three concerns below.
The bedsores will continue to worsen
In the earliest stage, a bedsore is just an inflamed, sensitive section of skin. With proper treatment, it will disappear within a few days in most cases.
However, if the patient doesn’t receive treatment, including changes to their amenities and different cushioning, as well as more frequent rotation of their position, the pressure ulcers may continue to worsen. Eventually, they may become incredibly deep and do damage to musculature and connective tissue.
Untreated bedsores lead to infections
The way that bedsores develop makes them particularly susceptible to infection later. The location of the bedsore is likely underneath someone, which would mean that the area is often warm and dark. Such an environment is exactly what bacteria loves, especially when the skin becomes compromised. If intervention isn’t quick and thorough, bedsores may lead to a major infection.
Bedsores are a warning sign of serious neglect
If a loved one in a nursing home has painful bedsores, their standard of living in the nursing home is likely not what it should be. Staff members have not thus far demonstrated the care required to ensure their health and comfort.
You may want to speak up, especially if their condition doesn’t’ quickly get better. It is likely largely your responsibility to advocate for your loved one. If the staff won’t be more proactive about supporting them to treat any current bedsores and prevent future ones, then moving them to another facility may be the best option.