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Are bedsores always a sign of neglect?

Unfortunately, if you have a loved one in a nursing home who develops bedsores, that's a clear indication of neglect by the caregivers. Bedsores are 100 percent preventable and are far easier to prevent than they are to treat.

These pressure sores can develop in low-mobility patients who are either bed-bound or who spend long hours confined to the same chair. The ulcers typically develop on the areas that are pressed against a surface — buttocks, heels, hips, elbows are all common sites for the proliferation of bedsores.

Your loved one's caregivers should be assessing and monitoring the integrity of the patients' skin during their daily shifts. Any changes should be noted, charted and treated to prevent its worsening.

Any non-ambulatory patient has a high risk of being diagnosed with bedsores. But the condition flourishes even more freely in elderly patients and those who are no longer verbal and able to describe their painful conditions.

Untreated bedsores can cause patients to become septic and die. These are preventable deaths that didn't have to occur. Not only that, but the condition can be incredibly painful and rob nursing home residents of the few joys in life that they have.

If you suspect or know that a loved one who is a resident of a nursing home has bedsores, it is a kindness to step in and oversee their care. Let the nursing staff and the resident's doctor know that you have seen evidence of bedsores on your loved one. Put them on notice that you will be monitoring the subsequent treatment plan and the results.

In some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in order to fairly compensate your loved one for all that they have endured.

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