Elder abuse is a widespread issue in American society. Unfortunately, nursing homes often sacrifice the care of senior citizens in their quest to become profitable entities. Even more unfortunate is the fact that abuse is often an intermingled problem. When a senior citizen suffers from one form of abuse, such as poor nutrition, it often triggers other health issues. A senior citizen may suffer from inflamed bed sores as a result of poor nutrition. Bed sores that may have otherwise healed under a proper diet regimen may become infected when one is receiving poor nutrition.
The Increased Risk of Bed Sores in the U.S.
Over 2.5 million individuals suffer from bed sores at long-term care facilities throughout the U.S. The Joint Commission also reports that over 60,000 senior citizens die as a result of developing pressure sores. Pressure sores may be prevented by proper care. Often, nursing home workers are required to perform bed transfers as a way to relieve pressure on the body of a resident. They may need to assist a resident in changing sides to relieve the pressure. Nursing home workers often fail to provide this much-needed relief to residents in the course of their busy schedules. They may be overworked and not have the energy to perform a bed transfer. They may be overwhelmed by too many other job duties to perform bed transfers as required.
The Development of Pressure Sores
When a resident fails to change position in a medical bed, he or she will develop pressure sores. These painful sores develop when the skin experiences unrelieved pressure. Elderly individuals usually develop the sores on various pressure points on the body. They typically form on the hip, back or shoulder area. If left untreated, pressure sores can transform into serious ulcers. They may cause blood clotting issues and permanent disability. As such, it is vital that nursing home workers perform their daily duties and remember to assist residents in motion exercises, changing sides and transferring beds if needed.
The Role of Nutrition in Prevention of Bed Sores
Individuals often forget that nutrition also plays a critical role in the healing and prevention of bed sores. Healthy eating can provide an individual with the strength that he or she needs to ward off pressure sores. In addition, proper hydration also plays a vital role in the healing of pressure sores. The fact remains that many nursing home residents do not receive proper hydration. As a result, they may suffer from cracked skin and excessive bleeding. Pressure sores may never heal properly if an individual does not have enough water in his or her body. When individuals do not receive proper nutrition, body tissues may continue to break down.
Reporting Neglect and Abuse
If your loved one currently has bed sores, then you must make an effort to be mindful of his or her continued care. You should gather documentation of the exact steps that nursing home workers have taken in response to the individual’s condition. You should also be aware of whether a resident’s care continues to become progressively worse. If your loved one continues to suffer from a lack of proper nutrition, then this is considered a form of neglect. You should take advantage of the new online reporting system implemented by the Illinois Department of Public Health. With this system, you can file an online complaint in regards to abuse suffered by a nursing home resident at any time. The authorities will then investigate the nature of the abuse and follow up with your complaint.
Our nation’s senior citizens must have the care and nutrition that they need to survive in their later years. Those who have already developed pressure sores in nursing homes must also be remembered. The fact that a nursing home facility is understaffed should not cause the care of ill senior citizens to suffer. Proper nutrition is essential when an individual is battling bed sores.