One of the biggest issues seniors face whether they are in their own homes or at a nursing facility is bedsores. When someone remains immobile for an extended period of time, ulcers appear on the skin where the person has lain, and bedsores can be extremely dangerous to older adults without prompt treatment.
When you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is critical to know whether the person has received the best care possible. Nursing homes should have procedures in place to prevent bedsores from forming on a person, and there are things you should know about this painful condition.
What are the symptoms?
It can be tough to identify bedsores, because they tend to develop on hidden parts of the body. Bedsores most often form on the buttocks, back of the legs and shoulder blades. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Skin becomes tender
- Some areas of the skin feel warmer or cooler than everywhere else
- Pus-like draining occurs
- Abnormal swelling happens
- Unusual changes appear in skin texture or color
How can you prevent bedsores?
To avoid bedsores, most medical professionals recommend adjusting the elevation of the bed by no more than 30 degrees. This action helps prevent shearing, which ultimately leads to sores. Seniors should also shift their weight frequently while in bed for long periods of time. Caretakers should offer assistance when seniors have trouble repositioning independently. Getting up out of bed and walking for even a little bit each day will help tremendously.
What are the treatments?
In the event a loved one has already developed bedsores, it is critical to seek effective treatment right away. In some cases, surgery will be the only option to remedy the damage. Some doctors may suggest negative pressure wound therapy. This is a type of vacuum-assisted therapy where a suction tube draws moisture away from the wound site.