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
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.