As a New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer, we bedsore prevention and how some nursing homes are now using a “team” approach to actively fight this problem. My absolute favorite quote from the another Nursing home abuse advocate is “preventing bedsores is a 24/7/365 kind of job.” Duh! Of course it is! The question is why most nursing homes don”t see things from that perspective?
A lawyer who represents cliens with bed sores, pressure ulcers and sees other kinds of nursing home abuse, we are happy when we see some nursing homes and long term care facilities finding “creative, low-tech solutions” being implemented by nursing homes to fight bedsores. Some homes that have developed a simple team approach to keep residents constantly moving to avoid pressure sores:
- Laundry workers now make sure resident”s clothes fit properly and are not restricting the skin;
- The Kitchen staff has added protein powder in their cookie mix to boost nutrition. They have also changed their food service to buffet rather than sit down dining to encourage residents to keep moving; and
- The beauty shop now repositions clients as they are getting their hair done to prevent sitting in one position for too long.
These changes are so simple, yet extremely effective. And they don”t require any extra technology or funding for nursing homes and is a great example of how to use technology to the resident”s advantage. As a New Jersey Nursing home abuse lawyer, we also encourage nursing home to purchase mattresses made with high-density foam to reduce pressure on key areas. They also use special moisture blocking creams on incontinent patients to help reduce prolonged urine contact with the skin.
Again, these are simple, yet effective ways to reduce bedsores in nursing home residents. All they require is a little bit of effort and a little bit of creativity. And while these suggestions may not completely reduce incidents of bedsores, I think families would feel much better knowing that the facility is truly taking an aggressive approach in caring for their loved one.
For further information on bedsores and nursing home abuse, click on the following links:
New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
The development of a bedsore (or pressure sore) in an elderly or bedridden loved one can be a scary ordeal. Bedsores are painful and often require months of treatment before they heal. Bedsores can also be fatal if not cared for properly; therefore, it is important that family members are extremely involved in the treatment process.
The following list offers practical tips on how to treat a bedsore. Families can also use the list as a gauge to determine whether their loved one is receiving appropriate care from the nursing home or hospital staff. In addition, I encourage you to read ahead to the legal rights of a bedsore patient. Bedsores are a clear sign of neglect in nursing home or hospital setting. You have the legal right to hold these facilities accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused your loved one.
Bedsore Prevention Methods
- Keep Moving– Ideally, a bedsore patient should move every 15 minutes to keep pressure off of the sore. If this frequency is not possible (as in the case of an immobile resident), the bedsore patient must be moved at least every two hours. He or she should also be kept off of the sore as much as possible. Special mattresses, foam blocks or special chairs may help keep your loved one comfortable during the repositioning process.
- Keep it Clean– The bedsore should be cleaned with Saline solution and wrapped with an occlusive dressing. Occlusive dressing is a clear transparent bandage that can seal itself to the wound and is found at your local medical supply store. The bandage should also be left on for a few days before it is changed. If the dressing is changed too often, it will inhibit the body’s natural growth factors from connecting with the raw tissue.
- Get Healthy– Malnutrition is common in bedsore patients. This condition contributes to the easy breakdown of the skin. To promote healing, the bedsore patient should eat plenty of protein, take 500 mg of Vitamin C supplements twice a day (as always, consult with a doctor before taking supplements) and drink 8 glass of water a day to prevent dehydration. It is a proven fact that patients who receive proper nutrition will not only heal faster, but will be less likely to get another bedsore in the future.
Legal Rights of a Bedsore Patient
Nursing homes and hospitals have specific guidelines aimed at preventing bedsores. Therefore, if a bedsore develops, it’s safe to conclude that someone was not following the rules. These sores are so unacceptable that insurance companies are now refusing to pay doctors for bedsore treatment.
The reason for this is simple—bedsores are easier to prevent than treat. In most cases, bedsores are just the result of carelessness and neglect. Fortunately, insurance companies are not the only ones taking a stand against such negligent behavior. Bedsore patients and family members have turned to the court system to hold hospitals and nursing homes responsible for the pain and suffering they have caused. And while the hospital or nursing home may insist that bedsores are unavoidable even under the best circumstances, nothing can be further than the truth.
How to Get Help
Your first priority is the physical health of your loved one. Once they are stable and being treated as recommended above, you should contact an elder abuse attorney to discuss your specific case. At Mininno Law Office, we use a unique team of medical and legal professionals that work together to cover every angle of your bedsore case. Our staff nurse will answer any medical questions you may have, while our team of elder abuse attorneys will fight aggressively for your rights in court.
To get started with our licensed RN, call toll-free (856) 833-0600 or fill out the case evaluation form on the right side of the page.
New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers