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“The Nursing Home Says My Dad’s Bedsores Were Unpreventable…”

A blog reader recently wrote, “The nursing home says my dad’s bedsores were unpreventable. Is this the case, or are some bedsores an unavoidable part of living in a nursing home?”

The Nursing Home Says My Dad’s Bedsores Were Unpreventable…No!  The nursing home is lying to your face is is probably trying to cover their own.  Bedsores, also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are preventable–with proper screening, early detection, and staff involvement.   Bedsores are a widespread problem in nursing homes and hospitals. The development of of bedsores in nursing home patients is really a reflection of poor nursing care than an inevitable part of of the aging process.

Bedsores will likely develop if the nursing home and its staff do not make bedsore prevention a top priority.  Nursing homes must do a thorough assessment of residents on admission and on a regular basis during their stay.  Following the assessment, the nursing home should develop a comprehensive care plan that specifies what precautionary measures should be in place.
Nursing home patients often have mental or physical health conditions that limit their ability to stand, walk, or even turn themselves in bed should be ‘flagged’ and given necessary intervention to prevent bedsores. Bedridden patients who are incontinent are at high risk of forming bedsores and require regular clothing and bed sheet changes to keep the resident clean and dry.
The nursing home plan should include considerations to monitor each resident’s:  hydration, nutrition, and hygiene. Early signs of bedsores should be identified by the nursing home staff and treatments should implemented.  Unattended, bedsores can quickly become infected leading to sepsis, limb amputation and even death.
As part of nursing home’s system of bedsore prevention, nursing home residents (particularly the bed-bound) should be repositioned every two hours and ensuring proper hygiene.  Pressure relieving mattresses should be implemented as a preventative measure.  While bedsore prevention plans are great in theory, the most important part of bedsore prevention and treatment ultimately relies on the skill and dedication of the staff.  Do not let a nursing home or hospital tell you your loved one’s bedsore was unpreventable!

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