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Why repositioning is crucial for bedridden nursing home residents

Care facilities are supposed to be a safe and comfortable environment for society’s most vulnerable loved ones. Regular movement and repositioning are essential components of care in residential facilities when residents are bedridden or are largely confined to a chair in which they cannot reposition themselves.

While it may seem like a minor detail, failing to turn and move someone who can’t do it themselves can have serious consequences. Failure to provide adequate repositioning can lead to a number of health issues, both physical and psychological, potentially amounting to a form of nursing home abuse.

The dangers of immobility

The human body is designed to move. When a bedridden resident isn’t repositioned frequently, several health problems can arise. Pressure sores (bed sores) are the most common complication. Constant pressure on specific areas cuts off blood flow, leading to tissue breakdown and painful ulcers.

Moreover, muscles and joints that aren’t used can become stiff and shortened, limiting mobility further. This can make even basic tasks like getting dressed or eating difficult. Moving joints through their range of motion helps prevent stiffness and contractures.

Lack of movement can also lead to blood clots, which can be fatal if they travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or brain (stroke). Movement encourages blood flow throughout the body, reducing the risk of blood clots.

Additionally, immobility can lead to fluid buildup in the lungs, potentially increasing the risk of pneumonia, a serious lung infection. Turning and positioning can help to clear fluids from the lungs, reducing the risk of pneumonia.

Advocating for your loved one

These complications not only cause pain and suffering for the resident, but they can also lead to longer nursing home stays and increased healthcare costs. Suppose you have a bedridden loved one in a nursing home. In that case, you should expect the caregivers to have a specific turning schedule for repositioning them based on their individual needs and doctor’s orders.

You should ask about the turning schedule to advocate for your loved one’s well-being. More importantly, look for signs of neglect; be aware of signs like pressure sores, skin breakdown or unexplained weight loss, which could indicate inadequate repositioning.

By understanding the importance of repositioning and advocating for your loved one, you can help to ensure that they receive the quality care they deserve. If you identify recurring instances of nursing home abuse; in that case, you can consider pursuing legal action to hold the care facility accountable.