Preventing and Curing Bedosre
A major issue that faces many seniors, especially those in nursing homes or who have in-home caretakers, is pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores. Bedsores resemble bruises when they first start to appear, but within a matter of days can become much more serious, and can easily lead to infection, sepsis, and even death. Bedsores primarily affect seniors with limited mobility, and are brought about by sitting or lying in one position for extended periods. If a senior cannot move themselves, and a caretaker does not help rotate them several times per day, bedsores are an almost inevitable result. However, if your loved ones require caretaking, there are a few easy steps you can take to help keep them healthy and prevent bedsores.
- Ask about their mobility. If you’re not sure about how capable your loved one is of moving themselves, ask them, their physician, or their caretaker. Seniors who are relatively mobile have a limited risk of developing bedsores, but those who are bedridden or wheel-chair bound are at a much higher risk.
- Make sure they shift their weight. Even as little as repositioning themselves from lying on their back to their side can help reduce the risk of bedsores. If the senior is unable to move themselves, it is essential that their caretaker help them do so every 1-2 hours in order to keep bedsores from developing.
- Use a specialized mattress or pillows to protect susceptible areas. The parts of the body that are most at risk for developing bedsores are bony areas on the back and sides. Specialized mattresses exist that can help mitigate the risk, but at the very least, placing pillows beneath the shoulders, hips, coccyx, and heels can provide support and protection.
- Keep an eye on the skin. Bedsores start at the skin, and get exponentially worse once they get into the tissue underneath. Making sure that the senior is being checked daily for early symptoms of bedsores can help prevent the worse outcomes. Protecting a senior’s skin from dampness and excess dryness can stop bedsores from developing. This is especially important if a senior is incontinent and may not be able to avoid exposing themselves to moisture and bacteria.
- Stay alert. Whether you, a nursing home, or a caretaker is looking after the senior, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep a watchful eye on your loved one. While the steps necessary to avoid bedsores are fairly simple, some nursing homes lack the staff and the training to properly follow the procedure. Frequent checks and hourly repositioning may strain the resources of a nursing home that is more focused on profit margins than patients.
The best medicine for this condition is the close involvement of a senior’s family and friends, meaning frequent visits, inquiring about care, and taking the time to ensure that your loved one is being properly looked after. Bedsores are far easier to prevent than to treat, and they represent a very serious threat to the wellbeing of many of the elderly.
If your loved ones have experienced bedsores while in the care of a nursing home of home caretaker, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience handling nursing home abuse, physical and financial elder abuse, and caregiver fraud, and are devoted to helping our clients seek justice for their loved ones.