When you entrust the care of your elder loved one to someone else, either an in-home caregiver or a nursing home, you trust that they will take the best possible care of your family member. In most cases, professional caregivers do a wonderful job of providing for the physical, medical and emotional needs of the people they care for. Unfortunately, there are cases in which caregivers have neglected their duties, and neglected the people whose care was entrusted to them. While neglect is different than abuse, it certainly has the potential to be dangerous. Under Colorado Statute, neglect occurs when a caregiver provides inadequate food, clothing, shelter, psychological, physical, or medical care or inadequate supervision. Neglect also occurs when those needs are not provided in a timely manner, or are not provided with the care that a reasonable person would use. A Boulder Elder Neglect Lawyer can help you if you believe that your elder loved one is being neglected.
In some cases, a caregiver may let an elderly person under his or her care lie in bed all of the time, not changing the sheets, or the person’s clothes often enough. Combined with neglect of the elder’s personal hygiene, this is likely to cause bedsores. Bedsores are caused by prolonged pressure on a particular area of skin, damaging the skin and the tissue underneath. According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores are most likely to occur in bony areas of the body, such as elbows or hips, and generally occur in people in wheelchairs or on prolonged bed rest. There are four stages of bedsore, each of which looks different. In the case of a Stage I or Stage II bedsore, it may look a little bit like an abrasion or rug burn.
While bedsores may not seem like a serious injury, a Stage IV bedsore is in fact a significant wound which requires medical attention. Furthermore, checking for bedsores should be a routine function for a caregiver of an elder who needs significant bed rest, or is in a wheelchair; their presence may indicate a significant level of neglect. The places where bedsores will most likely occur in people on bed rest are the back of the head and ears, shoulder blades, tailbone and hips, back of the knees, ankles and heels. For those in wheelchairs, bedsores are most likely to appear on the shoulder blades, spine, tailbone, or backs of the arms or legs.
If your elder loved one seems to have a number of bedsores, it is time to look into whether he or she is getting adequate care. An experienced Colorado Elder Neglect Lawyer can help you find the resources you need to look into your family member’s health, and make sure that you understand your rights, and the rights of your family. Rhett Meyer is dedicated to helping Colorado’s elders continue to live happy, healthy, peaceful lives as they enter their twilight years. For more information and a free consultation, contact Rhett at (303) 444-1618.