Skip to Content
Virginia Injury & Will Contest Attorneys

What are Bedsores?

Elder in bed

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue that commonly occur when a person is immobile for a prolonged period of time. An elder with bedsores is a clear sign of nursing home abuse. Bedsores are not an unexplained illness; they are completely preventable and an obvious sign of neglect. Despite this, bedsores are a common sight in nursing homes across the country.

Anyone visiting a nursing home should know what bedsores look like and how elder negligence can make the problem worse.


Bedsores are usually the result of pressure (caused by sitting or lying in one place too long), cutting off circulation to the skin. This results in welts, which can increase in severity, depending on how long someone is immobile.

Some bedsores result from friction. These are most common in elders as their skin is more fragile. Bedsores caused by friction are often the result of failure to change clothes or sheets.

When an elder develops pressure ulcers, it almost certainly means their caretaker was negligent and failed to use basic bedsore prevention techniques.


Bedsores begin as an irritated, red mark on someone’s body, usually on the shoulders, elbows, buttocks, or heel. They appear in boney areas that make contact with a surface while sleeping or sitting.

Untreated bedsores quickly worsen, turning necrotic and increasing in depth. Eventually, it will break the skin, penetrate the fat layer, and infect the bone. These injuries are especially susceptible to becoming infected. The longer a bedsore is left untreated, the more invasive the treatment.

Call for Help

If someone you love developed bedsores while in a nursing home, they have almost certainly experienced some form of neglect. Neglect often accompanies other kinds of elder abuse and should be viewed as an enormous red flag. If you suspect nursing home abuse, file a report and speak to an attorney.

If someone you love developed bedsores due to nursing home negligence, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney from the Obenshain law group, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (540) 318-7360.