One of the first signs of elder abuse or neglect is a pressure sore (also known as bedsore); it is also the most common sign. These are so dangerous because they can become infected. They are also very painful. After someone goes into a nursing home, these sores should not develop. There are times when it is unavoidable, but that is not the case in every circumstance. The fact is that most bedsores are the result of inadequate care.
Good nursing home care requires elderly patients to be turned every two hours to prevent bed sore development. A patient’s diapers must also be changed on a regular basis. The skin needs to be clean and dry at all times. Nursing homes are also required to use a skin barrier cream on these patients. Finally, each resident needs to be monitored to ensure that bed sores are not developing.
The care described above has not been the norm for many nursing homes. In 2009, the California Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman received complaints of exploitation, abuse, and neglect of elderly patients. The national rate of these complaints was only 5 percent, but in California, the rate was 13 percent. In addition to that, the United States General Accounting Office discovered that one out of three nursing homes was cited for “serious or potentially life-threatening” issues in just the year 1998 alone. Obviously, this is a serious problem.
Elderly patients who experience abuse or neglect suffer immensely while it is occurring. Along with bed sores, many people have suffered from broken bones, head injuries, lacerations, and bruises. They may be in pain a majority of the time and may not be able to sleep well at night. In some cases, these patients are not receiving adequate nutrition and may be dehydrated. Because they are in a weakened state, they may be susceptible to other diseases. Their current conditions can also be exacerbated, and they may even pass away prematurely.
Abuse and neglect of the elderly leads to depression, fear and anxiety, and they have also been known to suffer from PTSD. Lastly, the elderly have always been known to suffer from financial abuse that is perpetrated by a caregiver, a family member or a family friend. Elderly patients lose large sums of money when this occurs.
Because elderly patients should never develop bed sores, you need to be suspicious about whether your loved one has received the best care or not when you become aware of them. You need to take pictures of these bedsores, and contact a San Francisco elder abuse attorney at the Cartwright Law Firm. Your attorney will ensure that your loved one receives the proper care that they deserve. Your San Francisco elder abuse attorney will also ensure that the nursing home is held accountable for the injuries that your loved one suffered.
If you need to know more about elder abuse or neglect, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, visit the National Center for Biotechnology Information to learn more about financial abuse.
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