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Bed sores may be a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Nursing Home Abuse |

Older adults often need assistance with daily living as they reach certain ages. In many situations, the solution is for them to enter nursing home facilities.

However, not all nursing homes are equal. The news has many stories of abuse and neglect in such institutions. Bed sores are a condition that may not seem serious at first glance, but they can lead to serious consequences and may be indicative of something darker.


Bed sores develop when an individual remains in one position for an extended period, leading to pressure on specific areas of the body. These pressure ulcers often target bony regions like heels, hips and the lower back. What begins as a seemingly harmless red mark can swiftly escalate into a painful wound, penetrating deep into the layers of skin. Besides pain, untreated sores can become infected and even lead to life-threatening conditions, including sepsis.


While bed sores may seem like mere skin conditions, they are often a symptom of an underlying issue, nursing home abuse or neglect. Adequate care involves regular repositioning of residents and maintaining of proper hygiene (changing clothes and bed linens and bathing); when provided, it generally prevents the development of bed sores. When it does not, prompt recognition of the problem and proper treatment usually keep the sores from worsening. The presence of bed sores and especially old ones may indicate that abuse or neglect is present, especially when coupled with malnutrition, dehydration or other unexplained injuries. Changes in behavior, withdrawal or fearfulness may also point to a deteriorating emotional state resulting from mistreatment.

The dangers of bed sores in nursing homes extend beyond physical discomfort. They serve as potential markers of neglect or abuse. By watching for them and other signs of subpar care or mistreatment, individuals may be able to identify it and remove their loved ones from poor situations before they become deadly.