What are Nursing Home Bed Sores? Get The Facts

Nursing Home Bed Sores are often synonymous with nursing home pressure sores and nursing home decubitus ulcers.  However, no matter which term is used, they are a profound indicator of elder neglect in nursing homes. Nursing home bed sores are not only inordinately painful for the nursing home residents that suffer them, but they can lead to death if they are not timely treated.

What are Bedsores in Nursing?

Nursing Home Bed Sores are caused when there is consistently unrelieved pressure on a local skin area on a nursing home resident, most often when are lying on their bed; this occurs when the resident is left unturned or unmoved for extended periods of time. Most nursing home residents are elderly, and thus may be handicapped and immobile; they need the help of the nursing staff to reposition themselves. When nursing staff neglect to do this, nursing home sores can happen. Simply put, this leads to skin tissue damage and loss.  These sores develop on the skin areas where the bone prominence and skin are very close together. Some of the commonly most vulnerable areas include heels, coccyx (tailbone), elbow, and back.

Stages of Bedsores

Nursing home bed sores are categorized into discrete Stages, which inclusively range from 1 through 4. Nursing home bed sores can also be “unstageable” or “unclassifiable,” which means the widespread presence of the dead tissue obscures the wound, making it difficult to determine the exact Stage; these unstageable sores will most often be either Stages III or IV though. The following are some elementary indicators of these sores.

  1. Indicators of Stage 1 sores:  Increased reddening or discoloration of the skin
  2. Indicators of Stage 2 sores:  partial loss of the thickness in the skin.
  3. Indicators of Stage 3 sores:  Full loss of skin, showing depth of skin loss, revealing underlying fat.
  4. Indicators of Stage 4 sores: Full loss of skin, now exposing the underlying bone.

Nursing Home Bed Sores


First and foremost, nursing home sores occur due to a lack of movement. Specifically, when nursing home staff fails to timely turn and reposition patients that were in bed, these patients will develop nursing home sores.  When a patient is in that same position for too long, blood flow will be cut due to unrelieved pressure on the local skin area. If this duration is too long, the skin tissue will simply die, and the nursing home sore will develop (or progress in Stage number).


As discussed earlier, prolonged exposure to the same position can lead a nursing home resident to develop a nursing home sore. Nursing home staffs need to be vigilant and attentive to their residents, and frequently and timely reposition the resident in bed. Adequate skin care, nutrition, and daily exercise are also other important strategies that may help prevent nursing home sores from developing in nursing home residents.


Stages of Nursing Home Bed Sore picture:  http://www.phc-online.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/decubitus-stages.gif