Are the Development of Bed Sores at a Nursing Home Considered to be a Form of Nursing Home Abuse?

By Nursing Home Law Center

Development of Bed Sores

The Administration on Aging, defines elder abuse as the intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.

Obviously, using the the government’s definition, many forms of mistreatment- intentional and negligent may be considered abusive. In nursing homes, negligent acts by staff account for the majority of injuries and deaths. Nonetheless, there are situations where the intentional acts by a facility in general or by an individual staff member may similarly result in an injury.

Although bed sores (alternatively referred to as: pressure sore, pressure ulcer or decubitus ulcer) may not necessarily be associated with an intentional act, there are many situations where a bed sore developed because of a conscious decision by nursing home staff to ignore patient needs such as: incontinence, shifting patients in bed and ensuring sufficient nutrition and hydration. Similarly, some nursing homes may intentionally contribute to the development of bed sores when they fail to educate staff regarding preventative measure and treatment programs.

The sad reality is that bed sores can be just as harmful to nursing home patients compared with any other type of abuse-inflicted injury. Nursing home patients who develop bed sores must endure a long, painful and de-humanizing treatment and recovery process.

Steps to Take After You Notice the Development of Bed Sores During an Admission to a Nursing Home

  • Obtain medical treatment for your loved one immediately
  • Document the injury, record dates, times, staff names and photograph or videotape the wound itself
  • Contact your state’s Department of Health and file a complaint related to improper patient care

Related Information

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Resources

Client Reviews

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric