A nursing home should provide a clean, caring environment and skilled and compassionate caregivers. That doesn’t seem too much to expect for $116,800 a year, the average cost of nursing home care in New Jersey. However, the AARP ranked New Jersey nursing homes the second worst in the nation for the number of residents in nursing homes with bed sores.
Bed Sores – A Sign of Dangerous Neglect
Bed sores or pressure ulcers develop when someone remains in the same position for a long time. Constant pressure injures the skin and underlying tissue. This happens most often on the heels, hips, tailbone and ankles, parts of the body where skin covers hard bones.
People who are able to move normally toss and turn in bed and fidget and shift when sitting. Someone who cannot move without assistance has constant pressure on the same parts of the body. To compound the problems, older people tend to have fragile, thinner and less elastic skin so are more at risk than younger people.
Bedsores are Preventable
It’s possible for a person with limited mobility to develop a bed sore even with the best care. However, if someone is left in their bed or wheelchair without having their position regularly changed, a bed sore is much more likely to develop and can appear very quickly.
Bedsores are ranked as Stage 1 through 4, with Stage 1 being the least serious and Stage 4 a large, deep ulcer that can expose muscle and bone. If someone who is receiving good care develops a bed sore, it will probably be discovered at Stage 1. Obviously, it’s far better to begin treatment while the bedsore is small and shallow.
When a nursing home patient is neglected, not only is the patient more likely to develop a bed sore, but the bed sore will be Stage 2 or worse when treatment begins. As you can imagine, not only can a bed sore develop into a life-threatening condition, but is also very painful. No one should ever be neglected until they develop bed sores.
Gartenberg Howard LLP are nursing home lawyers who fight for justice for those who are unable to fight for themselves. If your loved one is in a nursing home and has developed bed sores or shows other signs of neglect, make an appointment to discuss the situation. Time can be critical in getting help for your loved one.