• Bed sores, also called pressure ulcers, are lesions on the skin that arise when there is prolonged pressure on one area of the body. This causes skin damage as well as damage to the underlying tissue. This damage does not take a long time to occur in older individuals who are primarily confined to a bed and lie or sit in one position for too long. They range in severity from Grade 1, where the skin is discolored, to Grade 4, where there may be damage to the skin, bone, tissues, joints and tendons. In serious cases, infection, amputation and death may result.

    To prevent these types of complications from occurring in nursing homes, preventive actions must be taken, especially if a patient is unable to be active. Patients should be repositioned on a consistent basis on the average of every two hours. There must be good hygiene and skin care. Checking the skin daily for signs of discoloration is helpful in preventing serious bed sores and using a moisturizer on the skin to prevent dryness is also a good practice. Residents of nursing homes should not develop bedsores. Patients have a right to receive quality care and if they are confined to a bed, this means that the staff should assist them in moving and repositioning their body several times a day.