We see many cases involving pressure wounds which are also known as decubitus ulcers. Many years ago, these were referred to as bedsores. Although pressure ulcers many times develop at pressure points on the body, coccyx (backbone), hips and other points where there is pressure, pressure ulcers generally are related to a number of physical factors including nutrition and hydration.

Many times, a family member will advise us that they often “smelled something” but did not know what it was. The best advice we can offer to a family member concerned about an unusual odor involving a loved one in a nursing home is to specifically ask the Director of Nursing or the physician involved in the resident’s care, “What’s that smell?”

In our post-9/11 world, signs in airports often say, “If you see something, say something” in order to protect the public. In a nursing home, the sign should say, “If you smell something, say something.” It may save your loved one’s life.