Bedsores can be extremely problematic for the elderly and largely immobile. Once they develop, they can be very painful and disabling. They can also become infected, which means that they could potentially be fatal or cause serious health conditions if not treated promptly.
The good news is that bedsores, also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, can generally be avoided. It is the pressure itself that causes these painful spots to form. Below are some tips that can keep this from happening in the first place so that medical intervention is not necessary.
Generally speaking, it is recommended that people who are sitting or lying in the same position be repositioned every two hours. An elderly or disabled person may not be able to move on their own, so caretakers need to help them with this turning or repositioning. Leaving a person in the same position for longer than two hours is what dramatically increases the odds that a bedsore will develop.
Using a wheelchair
In some cases, it can help people to sit up straight in wheelchair, taking pressure off of many parts of their body. Even when doing this, though, they should try to shift or change positions roughly every quarter hour.
When sitting or lying down, padding can be used to reduce pressure. Repositioning is still important, but there are situations in which a blanket or a pillow can simply alleviate pressure on one part of a body. Identifying where things have become uncomfortable before an ulcer develops is important.
Focusing on nutrition and skincare
Overall, elderly and disabled individuals need to make sure that they focus on other areas of their health. For instance, it can help a lot if the skin is kept clean and dry. It’s also helpful if elderly people are getting their vitamins and minerals, eating enough calories, getting enough fluids and things of this nature. If nothing else, this can help the skin heal if a sore does develop.
What comes next?
Unfortunately, if an elderly or disabled person does develop bedsores, complications could happen very quickly. This can lead to pain and suffering, high medical bills and many other issues. Family members need to be sure they understand what legal options they have in the event that sores develop due to the neglect of a resident of a long-term care facility.