Bedsores are a serious concern for older adults who are unable to move easily on their own. Today, many caregivers also refer to this condition as pressure sores, since they can occur when seniors spend too much time in one position in chairs and on other types of furniture. Seniors can also develop bedsores from transfers that accidentally rub their fragile skin. Once their skin gets damaged from being exposed to constant pressure, infections and painful ulcers can set in. Sore prevention is a priority, and you can protect your aging loved one’s delicate skin by making a few changes in your daily routine.
1. Follow a Strict Repositioning Schedule
Seniors who become bedridden often have health conditions that make it difficult for them to move on their own. In some cases, they may not be able to express if something hurts or begins to irritate their skin. Seniors should be repositioned at least every two hours. Depending on your loved one’s abilities, this could mean moving from a sitting to a standing position. Some seniors may only be able to move from lying on one side of their bodies to the other. Sticking to this strict schedule may require asking another caregiver to provide you with assistance, especially at night.
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 in Tucson, Home Care Assistance 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.
2. Add Extra Cushioning to At-Risk Areas
You’ll find special mattress and chair pads designed to relieve pressure on the spots of your loved one’s body where bedsores are more likely to appear. Adding extra cushioning can relieve the pressure on your loved one’s skin, but you’ll want to remember it only serves as an extra layer of protection. Repositioning and using extreme caution during transfers still remain your primary priorities.
3. Take Care of Your Loved One’s Skin
Healthy skin is less likely to tear or develop an ulcer from pressure. Make sure to bathe your loved one regularly, and consider applying lotion if his or her skin is prone to dryness. If your loved one does develop a red spot or cut, treat it appropriately to prevent it from developing an infection.
4. Promote Healing with Healthy Meals
Skin is nourished from the inside of the body. Eating nutritious meals helps your loved one have the nutrients needed to stay healthier and stronger. Vitamins A, D, and C are especially good for aging skin. If your loved one has difficulty with eating, consider making healthy shakes and soups that might be easier to eat.
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 Home Care Assistance, a leading home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
5. Perform Daily Skin Checks
Even with the best of care, your loved one may still develop pressure spots. Check his or her skin for signs of redness, inflammation, or cuts each day. Remember to pay attention to areas you might not always think to check, such as behind the ears and knees. If you do notice redness, make sure to keep pressure off that area. Your loved one may also need to have sores checked by a physician to make sure he or she doesn’t develop complications.
Being the primary caregiver for a senior loved one can be challenging, especially if you have other responsibilities. In Tucson, respite 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. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (520) 276-6555 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.