One of the basic expectations you should have of any nursing home or long-term care facility in Rome is that its staff will do everything possible to help your loved one avoid suffering preventable injuries. Slips and falls can happen despite even the best precautions, yet one type of injury that is almost completely preventable is a bedsore. Having entrusted a family member or friend to the care of such a facility, you should know what these are, how to spot them, and how they occur.
Bedsores are also referred to as "pressure ulcers," and that definition offers a clearer picture of what they exactly are. Continued pressure on a certain area of the skin can cause the skin to break down and expose the underlying tissue. These are manifest as open wounds visible at the skin's surface, through which muscle tissue and, in some extreme cases, even bone can be seen. Aside from being incredibly painful, bedsores can easily become infected, leading to further complications with the affected area.
Per the Mayo Clinic, those areas which absorb pressure when people sit or lie down (e.g. the tailbone, buttocks and shoulder blades) are most susceptible to bedsores. However, if your loved one has ambulation issues that limit them to staying in bed for extended periods, they can easily develop bedsores in the following areas:
- The back of the head
- The hip and lower back
- The heels and ankles
Preventing bedsores is relatively simple: one must simply not remain seated or lying down in the same position for too long. In a nursing home, the staff should be constantly moving and adjusting your loved one's position to avoid the potential for bedsores. You noticing them may be a sure sign that your loved one is being neglected.