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by Jeff Rasansky - August 17, 2012
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

A lot of nursing home abuse and neglect cases involve people who suffer injuries related to immobility. While it might be counterintuitive, being immobile can cause many different types of injuries. These injuries are generally related to not moving around enough or to conditions that are exacerbated by not being able to move around adequately to stay healthy.

Stagnant Care – Infections Can Develop

elderly woman eyes closedRecently, the FBI put out a press release detailing the conditions in a Georgia nursing home that was taking Medicare and Medicaid money but providing inadequate care to residents. In this nursing home, understaffing and a careless environment led to a situation where residents were not given adequate meals, their medical care suffered and they weren’t able to enjoy a clean environment. Some immobility related conditions result from poor hygiene. Nursing home residents who cannot take care of their own hygiene anymore oftentimes end up contracting severe illnesses, including infections, because they are not kept clean.

In the Georgia case, the FBI intervened because of the fraud involved. The interesting thing about this case is that it represents the first time that a defendant was convicted on federal charges because of having submitted payment claims for services that were deemed worthless by the judge, according to the press release. In cases where people in nursing home environments are severely abused simply by being neglected the basic care they need, the families can sometimes sue for damages.

Looking for Signs of Abuse

The complications of immobility in elderly people are sometimes easy to spot, sometimes not. Unfortunately, these signs tend to become easier to catch when the problem has become very severe.

People who are immobile for too long may develop pressure ulcers, or bedsores, on their bodies. This is a sign that they are not being turned over enough. Healthy people turn themselves over in bed about once every 15 minutes. When people suffer from severe illnesses, they may be unable to turn themselves over and, because of lying on the same spot on their body for so long, they develop bedsores that can become infected and cause other complications.

Keep an eye out for poor hygiene. One of the most significant complications of not being mobile enough is an inability to stay clean by yourself. In situations where people are not taken to the bathroom, given adequate baths or showers and where their other basic hygienic needs are not taken care of, they may develop very serious illnesses. The obvious symptoms of poor hygiene are what you need to look for in such situations.

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