When elderly nursing home patients are bed-ridden, they are at risk for developing contractures, which are stiffened joints. Those elderly individuals who suffer from stiffened joints and shortening of the muscles due to lack of mobility and range of motion are also more likely to develop bed sores.
Nursing homes with bad practices might tell you that your loved one developed contractures and bed sores as a result of aging. However, it is critical that you know that these conditions aren’t a result of aging but a result of neglect.
Unfortunately, contractures and bed sores typically develop when elderly residents are:
- Not properly evaluated
- Not regularly moved or repositioned in their beds or wheelchairs
- Left immobile for long periods of time
- Not frequently stretched or exercised
When nursing home facilities are understaffed, they often fail to move their patients in a timely manner or provide them with physical and occupational therapy—keeping their bodies flexible. When contractures develop, they dramatically reduce an individual’s mobility, which leads to a heightened risk of bed sores.
While contractures commonly affect an individual’s hands, arms, feet and legs, bed sores are commonly found on the following locations:
- Back of head
When a person has limited ability to move, assistance from the nursing home staff is mandatory to prevent bed sores and contractures. Nursing homes can help stop further decrease in range of motion by providing a comprehensive assessment of an elderly patient, creating a care plan, and making sure a resident gets regular exercise or is stretched frequently.
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