Moving a loved one into a nursing home is not a decision most people make lightly. It is a big step and not something to rush into, so they do their research and hope they end up picking a home with staff that will treat their loved ones with the care and respect they deserve. Unfortunately, numerous nursing home residents in New Mexico are not taken care of as they should be. Signs of neglect can easily be seen by family members if they know what to look for. One common sign of neglect is the appearance of bedsores.
Bedsores, sometimes referred to as pressure ulcers, are sores that form on the skin as a result of constant pressure. These ulcers are often found on the elbows, ankles, heels, tailbone and knees — or any other bony area. There are four stages in bedsore development, which are:
- Stage 1: Minor surface damage/color change. Maybe itchy or warm to the touch.
- Stage 2: Open blister on the surface of the skin.
- Stage 3: Open sore that looks like a crater. Extends down to the fat layer.
- Stage 4: Open blister that may extend down to the bone. Other signs of infection may be present.
Bedsores are typically suffered by individuals who are unable to move. They require repositioning every few hours. Nursing home staff are supposed to move their immobile patients to prevent pressure ulcers, but for various reasons, this does not always happen. Once bedsores begin to form, immediate treatment is needed to slow development and hopefully prevent infection.
Those who have loved ones residing in nursing homes in New Mexico and believe that they are being mistreated do not have to sit by and let it happen. Neglect by medical staff is never okay. With the assistance of legal counsel, it may be possible to end the abuse and seek compensation for the victim.