Bedsores (more formally known as pressure ulcers) are common injuries for nursing home residents who spend the majority of their time sitting or laying in bed. Proper professional care can prevent bedsores, and knowing the risks can help you take care of your elderly family member.
Potential risk factors for developing bedsores in a nursing home:
- Restricted mobility (if you require a wheelchair to get around)
- Diseases and other health conditions that inhibit blood flow
- Fragile or delicate skin
- Nutritional deficiencies
Of these, nutrition is the risk factor over which nursing home residents and their families have the most control. So, what can you do to help prevent and heal bedsores?
Managing Nutrition to Reduce the Risk of Pressure Ulcers
Nutrition plays an important role in managing health conditions for people of all ages, but for the elderly in particular. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel identifies energy level, protein intake, and arginine supplementation as three key factors tying proper nutrition to a reduced risk for bedsores. Maintaining a healthy diet that integrates with your care plan is one of the best things you can do to promote your own health and wellbeing. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your loved ones are maintaining a healthy diet:
- Strive to eat independently, so you control what goes into your body.
- Read labels. Understanding the nutritional value of food and drinks is critical to making sure you get the vitamins, calories, and nutrition you need.
- Monitor your weight gain or weight loss. Unless there are intervening medical considerations, you should try to keep your weight consistent with what it was before you went into nursing home care.
- Seek professional advice. Doctors and nutritionists specializing in elder care can help you eat healthy and avoid the risks of inadequate nutrition.
Of course, your nursing home care providers should be doing these for you. It is their job to take care of you, and making sure that you are comfortable and healthy is fundamental to their role. In fact, when a nursing home’s failure to provide adequate care results in bedsores, it is very possible that the nursing home is engaging in neglect or abuse. While we all expect nursing homes to make their residents’ well being their first priority, sadly, this is not always the case. As a result, it is important for residents and their families to feel empowered to both (i) take charge of their own nutrition, and (ii) stand up for themselves in the face of nursing home neglect or abuse.
If You Have Questions About Bedsores
For more information about the risks of bedsores and what you can do to protect yourself or your family from nursing home abuse or neglect, contact attorney Seth Gladstein online by filling out our online contact form or call us today. We offer free, no obligation consultations. Contact us today to get the legal representation you need.