4 Ways to Prevent Bedsores in Seniors

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Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, are a common concern for anyone who is confined to a sitting or lying position for the majority of the day. Typically, bedsores appear on the tailbone, hips, shoulder blades, elbows, and heels, since these areas tend to have thinner skin and less fat to reduce the effects of too much pressure. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to minimize the risk of bedsores and their complications.

1. Make Position Changes a Priority

When a senior is bedridden or in a wheelchair, frequent position changes are one of the best defenses he or she can have against bedsores. Those who are capable of moving independently should have timers placed nearby to let them know when to change positions. Seniors who need assistance should have caregivers visit them on a regular schedule. For bedridden seniors, position changes should occur every two hours. Those in wheelchairs should shift their weight every half hour.

2. Minimize Friction

In addition to pressure, bedsores can be caused by fragile skin rubbing against other body parts or on sheets. Caregivers should practice careful lifting when transferring seniors from one place to another. Sometimes using the sheet to lift the individual is effective for avoiding a sliding motion that could injure skin and cause a bedsore.

A professional caregiver can be a fantastic resource when you need help lifting and repositioning your loved one. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

3. Know the Early Signs

Bedsores often develop slowly, and many can be stopped before they progress by eliminating the cause. Caregivers should check regularly for signs of developing sores, such as red skin that may be hard or flaky or have a bruised appearance. When the sore is in its early stages, care should be taken to avoid pressure on that area until it’s gone. Any sores that are open wounds or showing signs of infection should be promptly treated.

Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading Arlington elder care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

4. Keep Circulation Flowing

When a person is confined to a bed, the prospect of exercise can be overwhelming. Yet even the simplest of movements can aid in bedsore prevention. Seniors can do short arm raises by picking their arms up as high as they can and holding them there for several seconds. Caregivers can also help seniors stretch their arms and legs so the skin receives the blood flow it requires to stay healthy.

Being the primary caregiver for a senior loved one can be challenging, especially if you have other responsibilities. In Arlington, home care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family. Trust Assisting Hands Home Care to provide high-quality compassionate, professional at-home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 703-997-5657.