Avoiding bedsores and pressure sores in seniors is a project requiring paying attention to a patient’s position. This applies to patients who spend a lot of time in bed or in a wheel chair.
When there is pressure on a particular part of the body for a length of time, it causes a lack of blood flow to that part of the body. The skin and tissue below begin to show signs of damage. If nothing is done to prevent it, then sores develop.
The Signs of Pressure Sores
Skin and maybe flesh in the area is:
- Sensitive to touch
- Liquid discharge
- It feels warmer, cooler or harder than the surrounding area
- Difference in color of skin
Who Is At Risk?
Patients who ‘lie there’, and spend a lot of time in one position.
The common risk factors are:
- Lack of feeling or sensory perception. If you don’t feel discomfort, you won’t change position.
- Immobility. Due to weakness, injury or medical requirement. It puts pressure on one place.
- Eat and drink foods that will optimize healthy, supple skin, that will not get sore so fast.
- There are medical issues causing circulatory problems, which leads to poor skin tissue quality.
Tips to Avoid Bedsores and Pressure Sores
These tips to avoiding bedsores and pressure sores in seniors can also be used to help heal sores. Complete healing of sores is possible in many cases, with good medical care.
Eat sufficiently, but in a way that will help you shed excess weight.
Exercise as Permitted
Ask your doctor or surgeon when you may exercise, and which types of exercise you may do. Patients in bed can benefit from yoga for the bed-ridden and other stretch/meditation type exercises. Patients in a wheelchair can do chair yoga . This is great for circulation.
Sleep is important to give the body time to heal the wounds. Pay attention to your sleep cycle and sleep when it is best for you . Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep in 24 hours.
Care for Your Skin
Promote healthy skin by regular washing with soap-free cleanser and patting dry. Use of a moisturizer can nourish skin, but only on areas where the skin is not broken and not on sores. Apply talcum powder at pressure points on the sheet where there is skin contact. Check the skin daily for signs of developing sores.
Shift and Move
Patients in a wheelchair should aim to shift about every 15 minutes. Bed-bound patients can request to be turned and moved every hour.
Wheelchair users can find about tilt-in-space wheelchairs that encourage movement for those with limited ability.
You could look into mattresses that relieve pressure if you are bed bound. Avoid mattresses that can cause sweating, which could exacerbate the risk of sores.
What to do if you notice Sores Developing?
The Mayo Clinic advises that if you notice signs of developing sores, change the position so that the pressure is off that spot. If there is no improvement within 24-48 hours, contact your medical service provider.
Contact the doctor immediately if there are signs of an infection.
The signs are:
- Discharge for the sore
- Sore has a bad smell
- Increased inflammation with redness, puffiness and warmth
The topic of avoiding bedsores and pressure sores in seniors requires an ongoing effort. Good care of the patient will ease their having to lay or sit in one place for prolonged periods of time. Meticulous care of a patient can help them avoid bedsores and pressure sores. This activity is an important part of preventing infection, whether at home, in a rehab center or in a hospital.