Pressure sores can occur when a person has been laying in one position for too long. They are common for the elderly who are bedridden or sit in a wheelchair most of the day. They usually form where the bone sits close to the skin, such as ankles, back, heels, and hips. Pressure sores can become infected, which can be life threatening for the elderly. Use these 5 steps to make sure your loved one does not develop a pressure sore.
Keep Skin Clean And Dry
One way to keep pressure sores from developing is to make sure your loved one is regularly bathed and put back into a clean and dry bed.
Change Position Every 2 Hours
Moving a person into a different position every two hours can help prevent pressure sores. There are lifting devices that nursing homes and hospitals use to help prevent friction of the skin against sheets and blankets which can also help reduce pressure sores.
Use Support Surfaces
There are special pillows, mattresses, and cushions that can be used to help a person lie in different positions to avoid pressure sores and protect skin from damage. By using a pillow to prop an immobile person on their side, it can help relieve pressure on their back. These devices are often foam, air-filled, or water-filled and are especially useful for those people in wheelchairs.
Eat A Healthy Diet
If you think your loved one is at risk for pressure sores, make sure they are eating the right amount of calories and protein and getting the right amount of vitamins in their diet. Additionally, making sure they are properly hydrated is key for maintaining healthy skin. If your family member has trouble feeding him or herself, make sure there is someone there who can assist them.
Keep Wounds Clean and Dressed
If a pressure wound does occur, it’s important to keep the wound clean to prevent infection. Wash the wound with warm water and a mild soap. If the wound is open, use a saline solution as well. Always keep the wound dressed in order to promote healing and to keep infection out.
Proper Care Can Prevent Decubitus Ulcers
Pressure sores are preventable, and if they do happen, they can be treatable. Make sure to use the steps above to keep your family safe.