Although seniors may experience bedsores in nursing homes, this does not mean that these types of injuries are unavoidable. In most cases, it is entirely possible to prevent their occurrence as long as nursing homes provide appropriate monitoring and care to their residents. If you are concerned that your loved one is experiencing nursing home neglect, reach out to an Oklahoma City bedsores lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more about your legal rights and options.
What Are Bedsores?
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, develop when certain parts of the body endure continuous pressure. These injuries affect the skin and tissues and can form when a person is bedridden or stays in the same position or spot for a long time. The resulting sores can be painful and difficult to treat, especially in the advanced stages. Therefore, nursing homes must be diligent in periodically repositioning the elderly in their beds to relieve pressure. Bedsores often indicate elder abuse or neglect since they may appear when nursing home staff are inattentive to the needs of sedentary residents.
Bedsores Can Have Serious Side Effects
During the early stages, bedsores may seem benign because they can start as reddish areas on the skin. However, even mild symptoms call for immediate medical attention because it would not take long before an older adult suffers from more severe injuries. Red skin can eventually break when the person stays in the same position for an extended period. The more an older person remains immobile, the higher the chances that skin abrasions become deep, open wounds. This can lead to dangerous complications.
Keep in mind that older adults in wheelchairs are also susceptible to bedsores. Anyone who does not move periodically is at risk of getting pressure ulcers. You can check if your loved one is showing signs of bedsores by looking at the bony areas of the body like the spot behind the head, elbows, hips, shoulders, heels, and back. These sores can be excruciating and may even be impossible to treat without timely medical intervention. An Oklahoma City bedsores lawyer can offer further guidance when it comes to the legal steps you can take to protect your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with an bedsores lawyer serving Oklahoma City, call (800) 794-0444
Responsibility of Nursing Homes
Prevention is still the best course of action concerning pressure sores. Since the elderly are vulnerable to this type of injury, a nursing home should be prepared to exercise the level of care needed to keep bedsores from developing. The staff must ensure that they physically adjust the position of any inactive resident regularly, encourage appropriate motion exercises, and keep the skin cool and dry. Additionally, constant body inspection is vital in cases where a resident is at high-risk for bedsores. Be aware that pressure ulcers are not only painful but can also require costly treatments.
Once a resident has bedsores, it becomes necessary for the nursing home to take prompt action. As much as possible, the facility should keep new wounds from emerging and offer suitable treatment for present sores. Equally important is the constant assessments that will determine if the sores are healing. You can seek the counsel of an Oklahoma City bedsores lawyer if you think a nursing home could be liable.
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Federal and State Laws Protect Nursing Home Residents from Abuse
To make sure nursing home residents receive the best care possible, the government enacted several laws that aim to keep the elderly from injury or harm. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 in particular outlines several rights that residents have, such as the following:
- The right to privacy
- The right to be free from neglect and abuse
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect
- The right to complain about poor care and treatment, and
- The right to know the nursing home’s policies and procedures
There are also Oklahoma state laws that give additional protection for the elderly, like Senate Bill 587 that lets residents install electronic recording devices in their rooms to support any civil and criminal proceedings. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some nursing facilities to continue committing negligent and abusive actions that can lead to severe injuries.
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You Have the Right to File a Report
There are times when you need to report negligent or abusive actions on behalf of your loved one. Remember that the sooner you act, the faster the investigation process can begin. You may be entitled to receive compensation that can help your loved one recover from any injury or emotional suffering. Moreover, you can become instrumental in ensuring that the nursing home systems and policies are geared more towards the comfort and overall well-being of their residents.
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Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to Learn More About Protecting Your Loved One’s Rights
If you decide to file a claim against a nursing facility, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can offer you support every step of the way. We will work with you so that you understand your rights more clearly, and you can make better-informed decisions.
We are committed to providing you with compassionate and personalized legal solutions when it comes to nursing home abuse. Our team aims to provide you with timely updates regarding your case so that you stay informed throughout the process. Call us today for a free consultation.