Perhaps you have been looking for an assisted living facility for your mother, and you found one that seems a good fit.

You have inquired about staff professionalism and competence to deal with medical issues that might arise, but did you specifically ask how they treat bedsores?

Bedsores are common

Bedsores are a common occurrence in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. They often affect older people who have some level of immobility. The sores are usually located at the body’s pressure points, such as the heels, hips or buttocks. Once a medical staff member finds a bedsore, the patient must receive prompt treatment.

The team approach

An article published in The New York Times described a program of staff collaboration in managing bedsores. The article explained that staff members in 52 nursing homes around the country employed a team approach to manage their respective bedsore issues. Laundry workers reported that some types of clothing were restricting the skin of residents. The kitchen staff in one facility added buffet dining so that residents would not stay in one position too long. At another facility, the beauty shop repositioned customers occasionally while performing hair care services. The American Geriatrics Society launched a study of the team concept and reported that the bedsores for residents in the 52 test facilities decreased by 69%.

What staff must do

The nursing staff at any facility must be diligent in keeping bedsores from occurring. At the very least, they must inspect a patient’s skin regularly, obtain a pressure-relieving mattress when necessary and turn patients confined to bed every two hours. Bedsores range in severity from Stage I to Stage IV. Under Florida law, assisted living facilities must transfer any resident with a Stage III or IV condition to a hospital or facility that is better equipped to provide proper care.

Next steps

Perhaps the assisted care facility you are interested in for your mother takes the proactive team approach to discourage the development of bedsores. Perhaps not. Investigate a bit further. Anyone can become vulnerable to bedsores, and the facility you choose must provide the best care for residents or risk legal repercussions.