Decreased mobility is just part of getting older. As the human body ages, its joints become stiffer and its muscles become weaker. Eventually, it can be difficult for someone to get in and out of bed or even get dressed without help.
Difficulty with balance and strength increases someone’s risk of a fall, so they may have no choice but to spend most of the day either seated in a chair or reclining in bed. A largely sedentary life is common in nursing homes.
One of the downsides of not moving around much, however, is that older adults could eventually develop bedsores. Nursing home staff are aware of the risk of bedsores in older people — and how to prevent them — which means that your loved one should not have to worry about worsening bedsores while living in a nursing home.
Staff can prevent bedsores and keep them from getting worse
There are several ways for nursing home staff to help their residents avoid bedsores. Also called pressure ulcers, bedsores often start off as topical spots on the skin that are inflamed or reddened. They eventually progress and develop into open wounds. Without a reduction in pressure and treatment, infected bedsores could result in severe pain, infection and even death.
Nursing home staff can prevent bedsores by helping residents move frequently every day. Rotating someone who cannot move on their own or getting patients who stayed seated or in bed for much of the day to adjust their posture and use supports like pillows to take the pressure off of their tailbone and other high-risk areas can help. Immediately cleaning and bandaging wounds that develop can help, as can adjusting someone’s posture and behavior.
If you have noticed bedsores on your loved one and worry because they seem to have gotten worse, you may need to address your concerns with the nursing home. If they do not help your loved one or if the bed ores develop into a more significant issue, you may need to make a claim against the nursing home to hold them accountable and protect other residents from similar abuse and neglect in the future.