Rochester, NY- A health issue is troubling for anyone regardless of their age, but for a senior one illness or a serious health concern can have serious ramifications. And in the worst case can hasten their death. When a family puts their loved one in a nursing home, they expect they will be cared for and will be protected from unnecessary injuries and illnesses, but that isn’t always the case.
Here will we discuss some of the more common health issues caused by nursing home neglect.
One of the most common injuries residents of long-term care facilities suffer as a result of neglect is bedsores, which left untreated can cause serious infections often requiring hospitalization. If left untreated bedsores can eventually be fatal. Bedsores are not only detrimental to a resident’s health, but are also tremendously painful. In the most extreme cases, skin and muscle is eaten away as the tissue begins to rot leaving patients with large holes in their flesh and exposed bones.
Bedsores, which are also called pressure ulcers, result when an elderly or disabled person has little or no mobility lies in one position for too long. Sores develop when pressure is applied to an area of the body, especially a bony area such as the hips, for a prolonged period of time.
Residents of nursing homes or elderly persons being cared for in their homes must be moved regularly to prevent bedsores. Too often, staff members of long term care facilities are overworked and can neglect to turn a resident frequently enough to assure the patient doesn’t suffer a bedsore.
Lackluster dental care is also an issue that plagues many long-term care residents. While facility staff can be diligent about bathing or changing a resident’s diapers or turning them on a regular basis so bedsores won’t develop, they can neglect their teeth. Residents are often plagued with broken teeth, gum disease and cavities because their teeth are not brushed on a regular basis.
Some residents don’t want someone else brushing their teeth and are capable of doing themselves, but patients who suffer from dementia are aware or able to take care of their own teeth. These individuals are not able to care for themselves and rely on nursing home staff for such basic needs. Residents, who suffer from dementia, can be combative and many facility staff do not have the necessary training to properly care for residents with diminished capacity.
A lack of adequate oral care can is painful, but it can also be directly linked to pneumonia, which is one of the leading causes of death in long-term care facilities. According to the New York Times, researchers have tied oral bacteria to pneumonia, stating numerous cases could be eliminated by simply providing better oral care.
Falls are also a concern and can lead to broken bones and other serious injuries such as head trauma.
Neglect of a patient’s needs is often the result of inadequate staffing or poorly trained aides. While this preventable, some, but not all, long-term facilities put their bottom lines above the health and safety of their patients. When this is the case, the neglected resident and their families may have the grounds to file a lawsuit with the assistance of a Rochester nursing home abuse attorney. With their help victims of abuse and neglect can seek compensation for their medical bills along with their pain and suffering.