Pressure sores, which are often known as bedsores, are one potential sign of elder neglect. They happen when an elderly person who cannot move well on their own is left lying in the exact same position for too long. The pressure points against even a soft mattress can lead to serious physical distress. In the worst cases, these sores become extensive, get infected and could even have fatal complications.
How do you know what to look for long before it gets to that point? There are a few things you need to know to spot pressure sores in the earliest stages. These symptoms include:
- A general sense of light pain at a specific point
- A burning or itching sensation
- A patch of skin that feels different from the skin around it
- Skin that becomes either too firm or too soft
- Skin that is warmer or cooler to the touch
Remember, these pressure sores are a symptom of neglect. If you find them this early, they may not present significant physical challenges and may heal quickly. However, they still show you that a pattern of neglect exists. Left unchecked, that can be very dangerous indeed. Spotting pressure sores early helps to break that pattern and to show you, your elderly loved one and other family members what is happening in the nursing home or assisted living facility.
If you do determine that the staff has been neglecting an elderly individual, it is important to understand all of the legal steps you can take to put an end to it and seek out a safer, healthier living situation.