Burn Injuries and the Elderly2017-03-06T20:52:44+00:00

Your loved one might get subjected to several different types of injuries or abuse. This happens when residents are not cared for in a nursing home. One such injury that your loved one might receive is a burn. To learn more about burns and what to do if your loved one sustains one, read on. 

Burns are any type of skin damage that may happen because of various factors. Factors include scalding from hot liquids, fires, too much time out in the sun, chemicals, and even types of electrical equipment. Nursing home patients are more prone to burns than the average person because of neglect by staff. Due to age and the condition of their skin, any type of burn that happens in a nursing home should not get overlooked.

Burn Degrees

There are four different “degrees” in which burns may be categorized under. A first-degree burn is the most minor of all burns. Only the outer layer of the skin gets damaged and symptoms include redness and pain. Second-degree burns affect the outer and second layers of skin. Some symptoms include redness and pain just like in first-degree burns. But, swelling can also occur and blisters will form on the affected area. Third-degree burns affect many more layers than just the first and second. They may even reach to a person’s nerves, which could cause numbness. Symptoms of this degree of burn are severe pain and leathery, stiff, waxy skin. The most severe type of burn reaches all the way down to muscle and bone. The skin will appear blackened or charred. Burns should never be taken lightly, especially in nursing homes.

Causes of Burns

Nursing homes are sometimes understaffed and in turn, those staff members can be overworked. This fact may cause the residents to get neglected. Nursing home residents may experience burns because of many different forms of neglect. Some elder adults are put on medicine that causes them to become drowsy and drift off to sleep. If a candle is lit in their room and no one is paying attention, a fire could start.

Many nursing home residents are in homes because they can’t care for themselves. If a fire erupts in a nursing home, many residents will not be able to get out of the building without some form of help. Many residents will need help getting out of bed, walking, or wheeling a wheelchair. Understaffing issues could make it hard for the staff to assist everyone out of the building. Some nursing homes aren’t even required to have sprinkler systems installed indoors. Fires due to neglect could result in the injury or even death of many residents.

Many elder adults still smoke cigarettes. When having a cigarette, nursing home residents should be monitored. If a staff member doesn’t watch a resident, it could result in burns. Neglect to properly heat up bathtub and shower water could cause harm as well. Elder people’s skin is sensitive due to old age, and very hot water could cause instant burns. Overheated food or drinks are also forms of neglect. They could cause injury to nursing home residents.

Burns caused by the neglect of nursing home staff is a factor in injuries of residents. Common symptoms of burns is pain, swelling, and in some cases, blisters. Any form of improper care to your loved one may result in a burn.