Moving into a nursing home is something that many seniors in New Mexico will choose at one point or another, and while most of their experiences will be entirely positive, there are unfortunately instances in which dangerous abuse and negligence on the part of the facility staff occur. One of the most worrisome signals of such scenarios is the emergence of pressure injuries, something against which family members must remain vigilant.
What are pressure injuries?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a pressure injury is an affliction of the skin caused by the application of force, whether of a constant nature or due to some kind of friction between the skin and another material. Bedsores are a common type of pressure injury in nursing home settings, particularly when nursing home negligence or abuse is happening, and the harm can manifest itself on areas of the body including:
- Hip bones
Though some instances of irritation in this realm are relatively minor, if the wound is allowed to deepen or infection sets in, a life-threatening situation can emerge, making it all the more crucial for family members and caregivers to keep a close watch.
Key pressure injury prevention measures
Ideally, nursing home staff will have the knowledge and training necessary to implement a proactive approach to the prevention of pressure injuries, which can include steps such as helping residents follow a sound skincare routine, conducting ongoing condition assessments for those most at risk of sores and monitoring medical devices such as oxygen cannulas, feeding tubes and the like for potentially harmful contact with the skin.
There are some types of nursing home neglect and misconduct, such as verbal abuse and financial exploitation, that can be difficult for family members to detect on sight. Pressure injuries, however, can be spotted with a bit of regular due diligence, and can be a red flag indicative of the type of residential environment to which no senior citizen should be subjected.