Families entrust nursing homes and assisted living facilities to care for their loved ones. Unfortunately, some nursing homes violate this trust by neglecting or abusing their elderly residents. The Savannah nursing home abuse attorneys at Roden + Love believe that nursing home residents have the right to be treated with respect at all times. Our Savannah injury lawyers represent people who have been harmed by nursing home neglect or misconduct.
Unfortunately, as the population of elderly people has increased, the competition among owners of such facilities to fill their beds and cut back on care to make a profit. Unfortunately, it has led to poor care in Georgia nursing homes, as well as improper admissions to assisted living when the resident really needs higher level of care. Nursing home and senior care facilities are often understaffed or are unwilling to hire qualified attendants, resulting in staff negligence of elder individuals.
A developing bedsore is often an indicator of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or medical malpractice when it occurs in a hospital setting. A bedsore (pressure sore; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer) can quickly develop when continuous pressure on the patient’s skin is unrelieved. Without immediate attention, the wound can cause serious health issues including life-threatening infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 1 out of 10 residents in nursing homes currently suffer from bedsores. Although this is alarming to many, this isn’t a new problem. For several decades, bedsores have been a prevalent problem in nursing homes throughout the United States. In many instances, bedsores are caused primarily from lack of attention and improper medical care in nursing homes. Bedsores are serious health concerns and once identified they need to be treated immediately. If a resident enters a nursing home with bedsores, it is the responsibility of the nursing home to ensure the sores don’t get worse. Unfortunately, a good majority of residents who enter a facility with bedsores don’t get the kind of quality medical attention needed. As a result, their bedsores increase and move on into the later stages of bedsores.
There are primarily four stages of bedsores. During these four stages of bedsores, the elder patient’s health condition progresses from a mild discomfort to a severe pain. Ironically, in the worst stages of bedsores, elderly patients experience little to no pain due to the incredible amounts of tissue damage. Without healthy tissue, there aren’t any nerves left to feel the pain of the pressure ulcer. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel defines each stage as follows:
The beginning stage of a pressure sore has the following characteristics:
- The skin is not broken.
- The skin appears red on people with lighter skin color, and the skin doesn’t briefly lighten when touched.
- The site may be tender, painful, firm, soft, warm or cool compared with the surrounding skin.
- The outer layer of skin (epidermis) and part of the underlying layer of skin (dermis) is damaged or lost.
- The wound may be shallow and pinkish or red.
- The wound may look like a fluid filled blister or a ruptured blister.
- The ulcer is a deep wound.
- The loss of skin usually exposes some fat.
- The ulcer looks crater-like.
- The bottom of the wound may have some yellowish dead tissue.
- The damage may extend beyond the primary wound below layers of healthy skin.
- The ulcer shows large-scale loss of tissue.
- The wound may expose muscle, bone or tendons.
- The bottom of the wound likely contains dead tissue that’s yellowish or dark and crusty.
- The damage often extends beyond the primary wound below layers of healthy skin.
Elderly patients most frequently develop bedsores around or near the following body parts:
- Back of the head
- Back, especially along the spine
- Tailbone or buttocks
Sadly, developing bedsores in nursing homes are all too common. Statistics maintained by the CDC indicate that 10 percent of all nursing home residents currently have a bedsore. This is a problem that has been prevalent in assisted living homes, hospitals and nursing facilities for decades. To make matters worse, nearly every bedsore is preventable. Bedsores are often caused by the lack of improper medical care or attention by nursing home staff.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home and notice any sign of bedsores or neglect contact Roden + Love nursing home neglect and abuse today to act on your behalf.
Slip and fall accidents account for roughly 36 percent of potentially preventable visits to the hospital emergency room by nursing home patients. According to the CDC, nursing home falls frequently go unreported. Despite the lack of accurate nursing home fall data, the CDC still receives between 100 and 200 reports of nursing home falls each year from average-sized nursing homes. A nursing home of average size, as defined by the CDC, has approximately 100 beds for elder residents.
One specific issue faced by many elderly is the propensity for taking a damaging fall. According to the CDC, about 1,800 nursing home residents die every year from fall-related injuries. Residents who experience non-fatal injuries from their falls are often left with permanent disabilities and a significantly reduced quality of life.
At Roden + Love, our Savannah, GA nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys know that many nursing home residents in Georgia sustain serious injuries in fall accidents, whether as the result of unsafe premises, improper supervision, lack of care after a fall, or other reasons. When this is the case, the nursing home and/or staff members that are responsible for allowing a resident to be injured in a fall should be held legally and financially responsible.
There are many different reasons why an elderly individual might suffer injuries in a fall accident at a nursing home, including:
- Wet floors
- Lack of bed rails or hand rails
- Improperly maintained or defective wheelchairs
- Insufficient staff levels
- Tripping hazards in hallways
Regardless of how the fall may have occurred, if your loved one didn’t receive appropriate care or treatment, or negligence caused the fall to occur, legal action may be called for.
Statistics of Falls in Nursing Homes
- The largest single cause of falls among the elderly, at 36 percent, of potentially preventable hospital emergency room visits made by nursing home residents is injury due to a fall.
- Deaths, sometimes even wrongful deaths, of approximately 1,800 nursing home residents each year can be attributed to fall-related injuries.
- Adults 65 and older are four times more likely to die of fall-related injuries if they live in a nursing home compared to those that live at home or with loved ones.
Poorly run nursing homes are a serious problem, but without the constant threat of legal action, these homes will not have any incentive to perform better. If you recognize any of the signs of abuse or neglect, or if you feel that something just is not right, contact us today and we will help you protect your loved one. If you have already lost your loved one due to abuse or neglect, the Savannah nursing home abuse lawyers at Roden + Love can help you get a measure of justice for your loved one, and prevent the atrocities they endured from happening to others. Contact us today at 844-RESULTS to schedule your free consultation.