Despite the ease of prevention, pressure sores are a common occurrence for many nursing home residents. This is because they are older, and often confined to their bed. Treatment of these injuries is not difficult. Repositioning bed-bound residents every two hours can often effectively combat their development. Pressure relieving methods such as pillows and foam padding can help too. Examinations of residents for sores can also detect them at earlier stages where they are less painful and dangerous. Despite the ease of detection and prevention, these precautions are not taken nearly enough in nursing homes.
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel defines a pressure ulcer as, “localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear.” These can develop in different places depending on how the resident is sitting or lying. A resident lying down on their back is most likely to develop sores on their head, should, elbow, buttocks or heel. A resident sitting up in bed is most likely to get pressure sores on the back of their head, shoulders, base of spine, or heel. The difference here is due to the different parts of the body coming into contact with the bed or mattress.
Residents can also get pressure sores from lying differently down in prone or lateral positions as well. No matter what position a bed-bound patient is in they still need to be repositioned to prevent sores by releasing pressure. Residents lying in a prone position are most likely to develop pressures sores on their elbow, ribcage, thighs and knee or toes. Residents in lateral position are most vulnerable in their ear, shoulder, elbow, hip, leg and heels.  It should be noted that areas where the bone protrudes more (and have less skin) like the elbow or knee can face increased risk
There is no pressure sore-proof position for nursing home residents to lie in. Preventing sores from developing and worsening requires repositioning and examinations. There are no substitutes for diligence. When nursing homes attempt to cut corners in these areas they open residents up to increased risk. In doing so they breach their duty of care and shatter the trust of elders and their families.
 Certified Medical Illlustrations, Common Sites for Pressure Sores. Retrieved from http://www.nj-nursinghomeneglect.com/articles/