Preventing Bedsores in Bedridden Relatives
If you’re taking care of a bedridden loved one at home, there are many factors that go into his or her care. However, one of the most common challenges of caring for someone who is confined to a bed for all or most of the day involves preventing bedsores. Keep reading to learn some practical tips.
Bedsores are also called pressure ulcers, and they can occur on any part of the body. As the name suggests, they are caused and aggravated by unrelieved pressure. However, friction, humidity and old age can also make bedsores more likely to occur. Bony areas such as the elbows and ankles are more susceptible to bedsores.
Position Changes Are Essential
Helping your relative change positions regularly throughout the day is crucial for preventing bedsores. Get into a routine of assisting the bedridden person with positional changes every two hours. If he or she has sufficient upper body strength, it may be easier to achieve those position changes with an aid such as a trapeze bar.
Use Gel-Filled Products to Relieve Pressure
Pressure points can often determine if a bedsore is likely to occur unless steps are taken to intervene. That’s why it’s so important to communicate with your loved one constantly and ask if he or she is experiencing any pressure points. If so, gel pads and positioners can relieve discomfort. Many brands are specially shaped to work well on specific parts of the body such as around the ankles or the arms.
Raise the Head of the Bed
If possible, raise the head of your relative’s bed so it is at least at a 30-degree angle. That helps prevent a problem called shearing that happens when people slide down in their beds, while the skin moves in the opposite direction. That kind of motion can cause damage to the tissue and blood vessels, making skin more likely to develop a bedsore. However, the elevated angle of a bed helps a person stay firmly in place instead of involuntarily sliding around.
Check the Skin’s Condition Regularly
It’s much easier to prevent bedsores than treat them. Check skin condition daily and take prompt action when problems are discovered. Any areas of the skin that are prone to excessive moisture can be dusted with a light coating of talcum powder.
Keep Your Loved One Well-Hydrated
When skin is healthy, it’s less likely to be affected by bedsores. Staying well hydrated is a major part of keeping the skin in good condition. Although you may need to assist a loved one with drinking enough fluids, doing so can stave off potential problems. Also, be aware of early dehydration symptoms, such as dark-colored urine, dry mouth and constipation.
Get Advice From a Healthcare Provider
In addition to taking these proactive measures, it’s also important to talk to your relative’s doctors about other things that may impact your loved one’s likelihood of developing bedsores. That’s especially true since issues like diabetes and obesity can put a person at a higher bedsore risk.
In closing, being diligent and following the suggestions above should prevent pressure sores no matter how long your relative is bedridden.
*Our content is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis of individual problems or circumstances, nor should it be implied that we are a substitute for professional medical advice. Users / readers are always advised to consult their Healthcare Professional prior to starting any new remedy, therapy or treatment. Your Wellness Group accepts no liability in the event you, a user of n-gage and a reader of this article, suffers a loss as a result of reliance upon or inappropriate application of the information.
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