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What do you know about bedsores in nursing homes?

When visiting your father in his North Carolina-based nursing home, you noticed odd sores on his body. Have you heard of bedsores and their causes?

A Place for Mom defines bedsores and explores how they occur. Use their insights to determine if the nursing home may neglect to care for your loved one properly.

What they are

Older adults with mobility issues may not move as much as they should, which may harm the skin and restrict blood flow through the body. Over time, this lack of movement may develop into bedsores, commonly forming at the shoulder blades, hips, tailbone, elbows and other areas of the body with little fat and muscle.

What they look like

Bedsores form in multiple stages. At first, you may notice skin discoloration, and your father may complain of irritation in the discolored area. The next stage is visible skin damage, such as a sore or oozing blister. The third progression is skin abrasions and growing discoloration. At the fourth and final stage, bedsores become open wounds vulnerable to infection, and muscles or bones may sustain damage.

How they form in nursing homes

Nursing home residents may develop bedsores for several reasons. Perhaps caretakers do not move residents or help them readjust in their beds or chairs often, putting pressure on the body. Even if nursing home staff help residents move, abrasive clothing or sheets may rub against thin skin, which could also lead to bedsores. Caretakers must take care to not use rubbing motions when repositioning and adjusting residents.

Pay attention to signs of potential nursing home neglect. Recognizing bedsores helps protect your father and his rights.