Did you know aging adults with limited physical mobility are at the highest risk of contracting the painful sores? If left untreated, or if there’s a delay in proper care, bedsores can easily become infected and lead to serious health risks and even death. Unfortunately, bedsores are one of the most common injuries suffered by elder Americans who stay in nursing homes.
Outside of immediate medical attention once they’re discovered, the best way to deal with them is prevent them from developing at all. In reality, this may be harder to prevent than you might think. Seniors who are immobile for extended periods of time are extremely susceptible to pressure sores, often at no fault of any caregiving treatment they are receiving.
When you are caring for your aging parent, either personally or by overseeing the care they receive, knowing associated risk factors and direct causes is extremely valuable information. This can be important for anyone who may be thinking of committing an elder parent or loved one to the care of a nursing home, and especially relevant if they are already there.
First, it’s important to understand that nursing home residents rely on their caretakers to maintain their health. If a senior is considered an “at-risk” patient or resident, he or she should be regularly re-positioned with full-body assessments being performed. This is standard care for a senior to receive, not something extra.
A healthy diet and proper hydration are also major factors in preventing bedsores as they help maintain healthy skin. Research shows that when it comes to seniors, malnutrition and dehydration can be signs of neglect. Remember that medication can also impact the senior’s intake of food and water. Be sure to check in with the doctor and the facility to make sure the medication and diet are in line to continuously improve the senior’s health.
Further, regular movement is a critical preventative factor. Anybody, not just elderly people, can be at risk of developing bedsores if they stay in one position for too long. Medical professionals commonly refer to bedsores as pressure sores because prolonged pressure to one or more areas of the body will irritate the skin, and eventually rupture it. This is why regular movement is so important.
Another cause is known as “shearing”. This occurs when skin rubs one way and underlying bone moves another way. It often happens when an elder person is hastily or otherwise improperly moved. Friction can also lead to bedsores when an aging senior’s clothes are left on too long. If there are significant issues with movement that your elderly loved one has, do not wait to talk to the long-term care facility.
We know that you may have questions when it comes to the care that your elderly loved one needs. Do not wait to contact our local elder care law firm to get answers and to help you make your caregiver decisions.