In what seems like a nearly every day occurrence, nursing homes across the United States are frequently sued after residents develop pressure ulcers, or bedsores. One of the most common questions asked after lawsuits and subsequent media attention arise is – “how can I ensure my loved one receives proper care for bedsores?” With upwards of 17,000 lawsuits filed every year related to this particular injury, the question is certainly relevant.
No one wants to think that such a tragic situation could happen to their family. That negligence or abuse could possibly happen to them. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and negligence occurs at an alarming rate. The heartache and tragedy of nursing home abuse or neglect is stifling and filters throughout families, the community, and the legal system.
Frequent Claims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Relate to Bedsores
One of the factors most commonly cited in lawsuits and abuse or neglect claims is that bedsores were not prevented, adequately treated, or monitored. Bedsores are among the most common preventable injuries causing harm and death to elderly Americans. According to the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, bedsores affect as many as 2.5 million patients every year. Of those, around 60,000 patients die every year as a direct result of bedsores or related complications.
Bedsores themselves are painful, but they are also a haven for dangerous, even deadly, complications including:
- Ongoing pain
- Prolonged need for rehabilitation
- Permanent disability
For nursing home staff and healthcare providers, preventing bedsores is as simple as understanding the risk factors and contributors, and taking appropriate preventative measures. Unfortunately, it seems that in many cases there is a lack of training or adequate staff to ensure that residents get the care they need and deserve.
Inadequate training or staffing should not be an excuse for nursing homes to allow abuse or neglect. Bedsores are often one of the first signs that a nursing home resident is not getting the care they really need. If your loved one has developed a bedsore and you believe that abuse or neglect was the cause of this injury, contact Brown & Brothers to learn more about how you can protect your loved one and his or her legal rights.
Nursing home abuse or neglect is never okay, and you should know that you are not alone in fighting for your loved one’s rights and wellbeing.
How Can I Ensure My Loved One Receives Proper Care?
Family members of nursing home residents often seek out strategies to protect their loved ones and prevent injuries like bedsores, which are considered preventable in the majority of cases. One of the best ways to protect nursing home residents, according to advocates, is for family members to educate themselves on the possible problems, warning signs, or red flags that may arise.
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care offers the following advice for families and caregivers:
- Make Unannounced Visits: One of the best ways for you to determine if something is amiss at your loved one’s nursing home residence is by making unannounced visits. Visit at different times of day, different days of the week, and at different intervals. This will give you a good idea of staffing and will provide a varied look at your loved one’s mental and physical wellbeing.
- Report Problems Immediately: If you have concerns about your loved one’s care, don’t delay in reporting problems to nursing home staff or administrators. Document your concerns, and if no action is taken, send documentation to supervisors in writing, and request a meeting in person.
- Get Outside Help: After addressing your concerns to staff and supervisors or administrators, if you feel like nothing is being done, it is time to seek outside help. Contact a local advocacy group, Ombudsman, or Adult Protective Services (APS) and file a report or complaint about your concerns.
Taking the Next Step after Concerns Arise
After reporting your concerns and getting outside help, your next step should be contacting an attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse, neglect, and bedsore-related cases. Nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, and negligence cases are challenging and very emotionally charged. It is always advisable to secure the guidance of an attorney as soon as concerns arise.
At Brown & Brothers, our passion is helping nursing home residents and their families protect their legal rights and ensure that proper care is received. We have decades of experience managing and winning cases related to abuse and neglect, including many cases related to bedsores.
Contact our office by filling out our online form and schedule your free case evaluation. Our compassionate, dedicated staff will work hard to get you the help and justice you deserve.