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Bedsores and nursing home neglect

Many Illinois residents have to make the difficult decision of how to care for their elderly loved ones. Though home-based aids are an option, many opt for placement in a nursing home. Many times, these institutions provide adequate care and supervision to the elderly, and family members can rest easy knowing that their loved ones are cared for appropriately. In some instances, though, nursing homes and their employees act negligently, causing serious harm and even death.

One common sign of nursing home neglect is bedsores. These wounds to the skin and its underlying tissue are caused by pressure on the skin for an extended period of time. They are often found on bony areas of the body, including the hips, tailbone, and ankles. The elderly who are unable to reposition themselves are at extreme risk of bedsores, which is why appropriate supervision and care by nursing home employees is so critical.

Bedsores, when left untreated, can progress, causing significant damage. It may cause the loss of a significant amount of skin and tissue, leaving muscle and bone exposed. Infection may develop in the wounds, which could lead to further complications. If such an infection goes untreated, it could become severe and even deadly.

Those who suffer significant injuries caused by nursing home neglect may be able to recover their losses and hold negligent parties accountable by filing a lawsuit. Both nursing home employees and the institution itself may be found liable, and a successful claim may bring a victim compensation to help ease pain and suffering and medical expenses. At a time when nursing homes should be providing comfort and care, holding the at-fault parties legally responsible can send the message that anything less is intolerable.

Source: The Mayo Clinic, "Bedsores (pressure sores)," accessed on Jan. 9, 2016

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