Bedsores, which people also call pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, have a strong association with hospitals and nursing home facilities. You may have heard stories before about older adults and those with serious medical issues developing bedsores while in the care of licensed medical professionals. Some people even assume that bedsores are impossible to prevent because of how common they are.
However, when you understand what causes bedsores, you will also grow to understand that they are usually preventable. There are ways that nursing home facilities increase the risk that their residents have of developing bedsores. Substandard care and understaffing are common culprits to blame when nursing home residents develop painful bedsores.
What are the most frequent reasons people develop bedsores?
The top reason for bedsore development is inactivity. When someone sits in the same chair all day or reclines in bed because they can no longer walk, the weight of their body on the same pressure points for hours or days at a time will cause damage to the skin and even the musculature underneath.
Staff members at a nursing home can worsen the risk of bedsores by pulling sheets out from under someone’s body, putting strain on those already compromised sections of skin. Other known risk factors include moisture on the skin and exposure to urine or feces. Older adults who sit in soiled undergarments are far more likely than those who have their needs attended to frequently to develop bedsores around the groin.
How nursing homes can prevent these wounds
The most obvious way to lessen someone’s risk of developing a bedsore is to help them change their position frequently. Rotating someone, moving them from a recline position to a seated one and placing cushions under at-risk areas can all diminish someone’s chance of developing bedsores.
Moving someone off of the bed before changing their sheets, attending to people quickly if they need support when using the bathroom and frequently inspecting patients for bedsores can also help prevent them and ensure they do not develop to the more advanced stages where they present real medical risks.
Understanding why bedsores develop can help you take the necessary steps to secure better treatment and support for your loved one in a nursing home.