If you provide in-home care in Centennial for a senior loved one who is bedridden, either permanently or temporarily, chances are you are worried about bedsores. Also referred to as pressure ulcers, these sores develop when too much pressure is placed on the skin and blood does not flow properly to that area. Bedsores can lead to infection, serious disease, and even death. Sadly, seniors are particularly at risk due to increased skin thinness and limited mobility. Take a look at some of the ways you can help prevent your loved one from developing bedsores.
1. Clean and Dry Skin Regularly
Make sure your loved one’s skin stays clean and dry. Either once a day or every other day, use a washcloth dipped in a mixture of warm water and mild soap and rub it over the skin. Use a towel to make sure you remove all excess moisture. Using a light moisturizer can also prevent skin from becoming too dry.
2. Change Soiled Clothing Often
If your loved one wears diapers or regularly soils his or her clothing with urine, food and beverages, or any other liquid, make sure you remove the clothing or diaper immediately. Those wet garments can rub on and irritate the skin, making it more susceptible to sores.
3. Change Positions
Make sure your loved one does not lay in one position all day. If he or she spends a few hours on their back, have them roll over to one side, and a couple of hours later, have them roll to the other side. You may need to help your loved one if he or she is unable to move on their own.
Just because someone is bedridden, it does not mean they cannot get a little exercise. If it is safe and your senior has the ability, try some daily movements such as arm and leg lifts. Even a few repetitions will help.
4. Provide a Healthy Diet
Make sure your loved one eats healthy foods each day, particularly foods that are high in protein and vitamin C, as they can help prevent skin from wearing down. Also, make sure he or she is drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated. If your loved one is diabetic, make sure his or her blood sugar is under control.
5. Use Pillows
Bedsores are most common in areas such as the hips, tailbone, shoulder blades, heels, and elbows. If you feel your loved one is at risk in one of these area, try placing a pillow underneath it to prevent friction between the body part and surface of the bed.
6. Look for Signs
Pay attention to the beginning signs of a bedsore, such as red or discolored areas, particularly on body parts where there is less skin or more protruding bone. If the area is warm or causing discomfort when you gently press it, this is usually a sign. If a bedsore is beginning to develop, take immediate action to prevent it from becoming worse than it is.
If you provide care for a senior loved one and could use additional support meeting his or her care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained, we are available 24/7, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Learn more about our care services, including Alzheimer’s and dementia care Centennial families trust, call (303) 957-3100 and request a free in-home consultation.