If you are providing caregiving for an elderly loved one who isn’t able to be active, you may be concerned about them developing bed sores or pressure sores from being in the same position most of the day. Pressure sores (also known as pressure ulcers) develop when pressure builds up on the same spot of the body over time. That constant pressure can result in the degradation of the skin’s integrity and may cause it to open up and become at risk for infection. Having personal care at home providers help you with caring for your loved one can help you prevent pressure sores in your aging loved one and avoid negative outcomes that can follow.
Here are some tips for preventing bed sores.
Consistent checking of the skin. Because bed sores can develop within several hours, it’s important to be consistently checking for them. This is where having personal care at home providers help with the care of your loved one can be very helpful. Daily checks are the minimum requirement and will need to be done by someone other than your loved one since most pressure sores appear in spots that your loved one cannot see. Bath time is a great time to do a full body check.
Keep the area dry. If your loved one has incontinence, keeping that area dry is imperative for helping her prevent a bed sore from developing. If a bowel movement or urine remains in contact with the skin for some time, the acids and enzymes in them will begin to cause degradation of the skin faster than usual. Combine that with your loved one’s inability to reposition herself, and a sore could develop quite quickly.
Change positions frequently. A variety of sitting positions and movements are key to preventing bed sores from developing. It might become a bit annoying to your loved one to be continually repositioned but those small changes in position mean that the pressure points from sitting or reclining change and then the skin can find relief. Your personal care at home provider will have the skills needed to make sure your loved one stays mobile and gets the needed adjustments throughout the day.
Use the right bedding. There is bedding created that will help your loved one sit or recline more comfortably and reduce the risk of bed sores developing. You’ll still need to move your loved one throughout the day but alternating pillow types and sizes will help you adjust what areas of your loved one’s body receives each time.
Diet is important, too. Eating well will give your loved one a circulatory system that runs well and then will reduce the risk of skin injuries. Staying hydrated is also an important part of her diet and protects her skin from pressure-sore injuries.
Having a bed-bound loved one can be a lot of responsibility. When possible, get the help you need to ensure your loved one stays healthy while you find the rest and respite you need.