Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are skin lesions that develop in elderly who are bedridden or have mobility issues. Because they are confined to their beds for extended periods, the unrelieved pressure due to body weight causes this painful skin condition.
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 45% of older adults over 65 will develop pressure ulcers at some point.
Bed sores can cause great discomfort and pain to older adults if left untreated. They can appear anywhere on the body, but the most common areas that receive the most pressure are the buttocks, back, and hips. Because the sores cause deeper wounds than are initially visible, they can take longer to detect and treat.
As a result, preventing bed sores is far preferable to treating them. If left untreated or undiagnosed, bed sores can lead to more severe issues such as muscle loss, sepsis, infections, and even death. Here are some of the most effective ways to prevent bed sores in an assisted living home in Grapevine, TX.
Inadequate hygiene can increase the likelihood of developing bedsores. If a resident becomes immobile and soils their clothes, they must be changed immediately, along with the bedding and linen.
To avoid moisture build-up, they must be dried thoroughly after cleaning. Ensure that the folds of their skin, particularly the back, are gently patted dry with a clean, soft towel.
Carry Out Daily Checks
Assisted living staff must check immobilized residents daily for signs of any red spots or skin lesions. Bed sores typically take the form of a red spot that feels hard or causes mild pain when touched.
Early detection and treatment of bed sores can help to prevent the development of further problems. Ensure the affected area is treated with a medicated cream and that it receives no pressure.
Although quite obvious and straightforward, this is a critical prevention method. Immobilized residents must be moved from their reclining position every couple hours to relieve any pressure build-up. This reduces friction and keeps all areas of the body adequately exposed.
Cushions are valuable tools for relieving pressure on the skin, but choosing the right kind is critical. Air cushions are the best bet and help the most in reducing pressure. You can also place cushions under the feet to relieve stress from the heels, which are often most affected by bed sores.
Avoid using donut cushions, as they can cause more harm than good due to their uneven structure. Lambswool and foam pads can help distribute pressure evenly on the skin.
Dry skin can cause friction and rashes, increasing the likelihood of developing bedsores. Use a gentle, non-oily moisturizer to keep the resident’s skin lubricated. You can also use baby powder to keep the skin soft and supple. Daily moisturization is also great for inspecting the resident’s body for suspicious spots or early signs of bedsores.
It is also critical for the resident to stay well-hydrated and eat nutritious food daily. Aside from other prevention methods, a healthy diet promotes immunity and faster healing, which helps keep painful skin ulcers at bay.