Nursing home residents themselves are often not the ones who make claims of neglect or abuse. There are many reasons for this. For one thing, many of them have significant mental and physical vulnerabilities that make it difficult to understand their own condition or appreciate what quality of care they should expect. The nature of their relationship also makes it challenging for many to call our poor care. After all, if you count on certain people to help get by every day–from eating breakfast to going to the bathroom–it is difficult to make allegations about their them personally.
All of this makes it imperative for outsiders to step in and demand accountability when reasonable standards of care have not been met. In many cases this is family members. For example, we recently settled an Illinois nursing home neglect case where the family members of the residents were the ones to identify–on several occasions–that their loved one developed bed sores. The actual nursing home employees whose job it was to prevent the sores and provide proper treatment if detected, never proactively noticed the situation. Sadly, those sores ultimately led to complications which took the senior’s life.
Bed Sores Identified at Hospital
In other cases, problems with care are only identified when a senior resident is taken to the hospital for some emergency. When other medical professionals work to save the seniors, they sometimes notice signs that the care the individual received was obviously sub-par. In the context of nursing home residents, that often means that the doctors and nurses find bed sores.
That is what happened for one resident according to a new story published by the Orlando Sentinel. According to the report, a senior resident was brought to the hospital where he was quickly identified as having several severe third-degree ulcers on his buttocks. Blog readers know that there are various levels of bed sores, with more severe sores involving significant deterioration of the skin, often exposing muscle and bone. In this case, the sores were significant, obviously causing immense pain for the resident.
Fortunately, the medical professionals in this setting did not brush the situation under the rug. Eventually the police were called and those involved explained their suspicions of elder abuse. A police report was filed. All of this has triggered an investigation by the state regulatory body into possible problems in this case (and likely others) at the long-term care facility.
The elderly man’s daughter was obviously severely upset upon learning of the situation. She later explained that she had been having problems with the facility related to the care her loved one was receiving for about two months. Beyond the serious bed sores, she explained that he also had painful sores in his mouth. Those mouth sores were caused by his dentures not being removed as necessary.
It goes without saying that this sort of treatment is unacceptable. Hopefully the state investigators work thoroughly to identify all problems and that the family involved pursues their rights to demand accountability.
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