Bed Sores, Improper Nutrition, and Bathing
The entire reason that your elderly parent or other loved one is in a nursing home is because her or she cannot fully care for themselves. Nursing homes are paid good money to care for residents, who put their trust in the staff and management to ensure that quality medical care is provided. But quality care does not just mean being given their medication on time and their blood pressure and other vitals measured regularly. Nursing homes must provide everything that your aging loved one needs, including regularly cleaning and bathing, being moved to prevent bed sores, and being served high quality and nourishing food.
Recognizing Bed Sores
Bed sores are ulcers, which develop due to prolonged pressure put on the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. They occur when a patient lays or sits for a long period of time without moving around to alleviate pressure points. Common bed sore sights include the heels, ankles, shoulder blades, the back of the head, elbows, hips, buttocks, tailbone, and the low back.
While doctors and nurses may claim that it is inevitable that an older patient will eventually develop bed sores, this is not true. Moving the patient regularly and re-adjusting the pressure points keeps bed sores from forming. Bed sores that have already developed need to be treated properly to keep from worsening or becoming infected. Other methods for preventing bed sores, that nursing homes should use, include frequent cleaning of the skin, talcum powder, keeping the skin dry, and frequent inspections of the skin and potential bed sore sites.
Malnourishment Does Not Just Mean Being Too Skinny
While the meals provided at nursing homes may not win any culinary awards, the food should be nutritious, fresh, served regularly, and be in large enough quantities to satiate the patient. Serving stale, spoiled, cheap food, or not serving the food at regular meal times or upon request is unacceptable. There are many types of malnourishment, many of which have different signs and symptoms. Elderly people are at risk of malnourishment due to loss of smell, taste, and appetite, which is all the more reason that the food served should be to the liking and standards of residents. Malnourishment can be caused by not getting enough minerals and vitamins, not eating enough protein, or being served a diet too high in fat and sugar, and deprived of healthy vegetables, fruit, and meat. There are three distinct types of weight loss in the elderly, according to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. These include:
- Wasting—Involuntary dietary intake;
- Cachexia—Involuntary loss of Fat Free Mass; and
- Sarcopenia—Involuntary loss of muscle mass
A Tampa Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Can Help
Improper bathing, not moving the resident enough to prevent bed sores, and malnourishment are all serious forms of negligence that can lead to life-ending conditions for the elderly. The fragility of nursing home patients needs to be taken into account each and everyday while an individual is in the care of a nursing home, as the slightest mistake can cause serious health complications. If your loved one has suffered because of low quality care at a nursing home, you can recover damages caused by the nursing home. Do not hesitate to contact a Tampa nursing home neglect attorney with Kohn Law today at 813-428-8504 to schedule a free consultation.