Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is dealing with mobility issues, health problems, or other difficulties that lead to immobility brings with it special challenges. One of these is the risk for pressure ulcers. Sometimes referred to as bedsores, pressure ulcers occur when areas of the body, such as the hip bones, elbows, knees, heels, or shoulder blades, are under pressure from being in the same position against a surface for a long stretch of time. These ulcers can be very painful, but they can also lead to infections that can be dangerous for your aging parent. If your senior develops bed sores, caring for them properly is instrumental in protecting them from serious complications, and helping them to restore better skin health.
Use these tips to help care for a senior who is suffering from pressure ulcers:
- Establish a routine of repositioning. People with good mobility generally change positions and shift their weight every few seconds without realizing it. Those without this ability may not change positions at all, leading to tremendous pressure on the body. Ensure your parent has assistance to change positions or shift their weight at least every 15 minutes. This will relieve pressure on the areas affected.
- Use cushions. If your aging parent has a pressure ulcer, or you are concerned about them developing them, use cushions to protect specific areas of the body. These relieve pressure, allow for easier repositioning, and protect the skin that is already damaged.
- Keep the area clean. Talk to their doctor about how to care for the skin and the ulcer itself. They may have you bring your parent in for treatments to promote healing.
- Encourage a healthy diet. Giving their body the nutrients it needs is essential to helping it heal, and also to keeping it healthier moving forward. Support a healthy, balanced diet, and proper hydration levels at all times.
- Keep the skin cool and dry. If your parent is showing signs of developing ulcers, such as redness, heat, or tenderness, be sure the area is kept cool and dry. Damp, warm skin is more vulnerable to friction, shearing, and degrading. Pure cornstarch powder can be a comforting and refreshing way to protect the skin and allow it to heal.
If you notice your parent has been struggling with health issues, and you feel you are unable to provide them the care they need, or that they would benefit from further care, starting senior care for them may be the ideal solution. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging parent when it is appropriate for them to ensure they have access to the care and support they need at all times. This means you remain at the forefront of their care, but can feel confident they have support, companionship, and assistance how and when they need it. This not only helps them to manage their specific health issues, but can also help them to stay safer and healthier, remain more active, and maintain a higher level of independence as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Santa Rosa, CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
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