Many elderly patients in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities cannot move on their own. Such patients require assistance to get out of bed, wash themselves, be taken to the bathroom, and to eat, among other daily needs of life. Without adequate help, dependent elderly individuals cannot complete basic tasks. Not only can neglect result in physical injuries, such as bedsores, but neglect can also cause mental pain and anguish.
What Are Bed Sores and How Do They Develop?
Bedsores are pressure sores or ulcers that can become infected and very painful. These bedsores develop when a person is sedentary in a bed or wheelchair and is in one position for a very long time. The sore typically develops when a person is on his or her hip, back, or if an elbow, ankle or heel is in close contact with a bed. In such positions, a person’s bone is in close contact with the skin, creating friction that later develops into a sore or ulcer.
The consequences of developing a bedsore can be significant and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Physical pain;
- The need for extensive medical treatment or surgery;
- Emotional harm; and
- Exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions.
Bedsores can only develop when an elderly patient is not properly taken care of. The person must be rotated, shifted, and frequently bathed to ensure bedsores or ulcers do not develop. The inability to take care of oneself can be demeaning and emotionally difficult. As such, when elderly victims are neglected and left to suffer alone, the person or facility at fault should be held responsible. Therefore, anyone who has suffered from bed sores or has a loved one who has suffered from bed sores should consider discussing the matter with a New Jersey Elder Abuse Attorney.