Being put into a nursing home is a time of great upheaval in your life. It is a time of grief, of mourning that you are getting too old to cope on your own. On the other hand, you might find a beautiful home with active residents that has plenty of staff. Unfortunately, too many of our cherished elders have the former experience over the latter.
There are a string of common problems with nursing homes in the US… the statistics are frightening to anyone with a shred of empathy. If you are living in a nursing home already – or if you have just admitted your loved one into such a place, then there are some things you need to know.
One of those things is when it is time to sue a nursing home for bedsores… a condition which is much more common than you might think, says Jonathan Rosenfeld, a specialist in bed sore injury cases.
Nursing Homes, Bedsores, and Frightening Facts
As mentioned above, some of the statistics are horrific. One Doctor from the Ohio University Med centre reports that nearly 1.5 million elderly Americans are resident in nursing homes. Of that, most are in Florida, earning it the title of retirement capital of the USA.
Many residents suffer a variety of health conditions. The saying that “old age doesn’t come by itself” is very true. Of those in nursing homes, most will need help with one or more of the following factors:
- Mental health issues – from depression to dementia
- Mobility – it gets hard to move unaided as you age
- Toileting – the less said the better
- Medication – it’s hard to keep track without a failing mind
- Hygiene – there comes a time when bathing is difficult
- Physical health – be it angina or diabetes, many nursing home residents already have a health problem.
Still not scared? Of the 15,600 nursing homes operating in 2016, nearly 70% of those were for-profit. That means someone, somewhere, is benefitting from understaffing… the leading cause of bedsores. Across America, 8% of patients in nursing homes have experienced at least one bedsore.
What’s 8% of 1.5 million?
Bedsores are painful open wounds that will fester and can cause death if left untreated. When is the time to sue a nursing home for bedsores? In short – as soon as you spot one seek help with lawyers, before the problem gets any worse.
A single bedsore might be an accident – but one of the easiest ways to prevent them is through regular movement. If a patient cannot move themselves then there needs to be enough nursing staff on shift to move them at regular intervals.
Since above 90% of all nursing homes are understaffed at any given time, bedsores have become more and more common. Worse, we are seeing things like malnutrition and neglect because of this understaffing.
When is the time to sue? When you notice a systematic neglect of your elder or loved one. When you get a second bedsore – or even a first. The moment you feel that there is something not quite right? Reach out and get help. There’s no harm in keeping anyone on their toes if you are wrong.