It is not always easy to make the decision to send loved ones to a nursing home. However, at times there is too much care needed to let them continue to live without ongoing assistance.
If you have a loved one who is living in a home and has difficulty getting out of bed on his or her own, bedsores may be a concern. More care is necessary to prevent them when someone is unable to move around much, and it is important to keep an eye out for potential signs of this condition, which is fairly common in the immobile elderly.
Causes of bedsores
According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores develop when pressure causes injuries to the skin and underlying tissues. This pressure limits the blood flow, which makes the skin more vulnerable to injury. Along with constant pressure, additional contributors are friction and shearing forces. Factors that increase the risk of bedsores are immobility, poor hydration and nutrition, certain medical conditions, sensory perception issues and incontinence.
Signs of bedsores
Bedsores typically show up on specific areas of the body. For those who spend a lot of time in bed, common locations are the hip, tailbone, back of the knees, heels, shoulder blades and back of the head. For those in wheelchairs, common locations are the spine, shoulder blades, buttocks, back of legs and back of the arms. Common signs of bedsores:
- Tenderness in certain areas
- Changes in skin texture or color
- Areas that feel warmer to the touch
- Draining pus
Prevention of bedsores
John Hopkins Medicine outlines some ways that caretakers can prevent bedsores. Along with performing regular inspections for skin changes, a caretaker should provide good skincare as well as proper nutrition. One prevention method for those in a wheelchair is to sit upright and change positions as frequently as every 15 minutes. For those in bed, turning and repositioning every two hours is appropriate. There should also be soft padding to alleviate pressure.