When someone must remain in bed due to an illness, injury, or disability, bedsores can become a concern. Also known as pressure ulcers, bedsores occur where there is too much pressure on the skin, cutting off blood flow and oxygen to that particular area. Not only are they painful and uncomfortable, but they can also contribute to serious infections, including meningitis or cellulitis. Therefore, an important part of elderly care is preventing ulcers from forming to keep the patient both comfortable and healthy.
3 Ways to Keep Bedsores From Forming
1. Change Positions Frequently
The best way to prevent bedsores is to change positions every few hours to prevent the pressure from building up in sensitive areas, such as the shoulder blades, hips, or tailbone. An elderly care provider will likely need to assist with this for bedridden patients, but it’s very important to be diligent about regular position changes. For instance, if the patient is on their back, they should be shifted to their side for two hours, and then the other side to ensure proper blood flow.
2. Provide Skin Care
Keeping the skin dry and clean will reduce the chance of developing ulcers. Regular bathing is ideal, but if it’s not possible, keep the areas of skin that are in contact with the bed clean by wiping them with a damp washcloth and patting them dry. Inspect the skin daily to watch for signs of ulcers. If you spot signs of developing sores, such as reddened, itchy skin and blisters, keep the area clean. If there are any open areas, contact your physician to treat with appropriate medication and dressings to prevent further infection.
3. Use Pillows
Relieving the pressure between the body and the bed using pillows can also prevent sores. When the patient is on their back, place pillows underneath their shoulders, tailbone, heels, and elbows. For a patient on their side, place the pillow between their knees and ankles.
If you need help providing elderly care for a loved one, turn to Safe Haven Home Care. Serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, their caregivers are dedicated to helping seniors thrive across New York City. From occasional assistance with errands and housekeeping to full-time assistance and care, these compassionate caregivers are ready to help. Learn more about their services online and call (718) 968-6970 to discuss your needs.