Pressure sores commonly known as bedsores are more prevalent among elderly people who are facing mobility issue. The following are some underlying causes and treatments of pressure sores.
Elderly Pressure Sores
Pressure sores are mainly associated with skin especially of those body parts that have to bear maximum pressure of our bones to maintain balance including ankles, heels, hipbone, and tailbone.
The root of these sores among elderly people is the decrease in mobility, weight gain, and more time spent on the beds. Luckily, it is also possible to lose weight while being at home by using the simplest techniques. Similarly, the elderly are affected by some diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s that lead to the reduction in their strengths to move, and the risk of pressure sores increases among them.
The caregivers who have the responsibility of taking care of patients suffering from bedsores must know the underlying cause of these ulcers to eliminate and treat these pressure sores completely.
Causes of Elderly Pressure Sores
The root cause behind these ulcers is the extended and constantimmobility among the elderly. Our skin requires continuous blood flow for nutrients. When the skin with less fat or muscles experiences pressure, the blood flow becomes limited and the tissues get damaged due to deprivation of nutrients causing cell death in that area and ulcers.
The damaged skin gets rubbed against clothes, bed, and furniture that leads to the further bruising of damaged and fragile skin. Movement across surfaces may worsen this injury by rubbing the skin against hard surfaces and bones also causes the shearing of the skin.
Symptoms of Elderly Pressure Sores
Pressure sores or bedsores appear quickly if the skin remains in contact with surfaces continuously. Approximately one week of extended exposure is sufficient for ulcers to appear and their severity enhances if the area is not left. The skin covering pressure bones like tailbone, shoulder bones and hipbone is more prone to the development of these ulcers because the skin of these body parts is not covered with sufficient fat and muscles. Following are some symptoms:
- Skin becomes tendered.
- The color and texture of the skin are altered.
- Skin becomes swollen.
- The temperature of that area has also changed.
Prevention and Treatment for Elderly Pressure Sores
Prevention of disease is better than cure. To avoid all the complications associated with bedsores, it is better to opt for preventive measures and it can alleviate the risks of the emergence of pressure sores. The caregivers must follow the following tips to avoid skin damage probability.
The soft and comfortable texture of the sheepskin will provide silky and soft support to the skin. People often use these mattresses to avoid discomfort. Besides, medical sheepskin can minimize the chances of bacterial infections. You will be amazed by using this prevention and can also save your loved ones from this painful illness.
- Switch your position:
If you are experiencing immobility and staying on a bed or wheelchair. You must try to transfer your weight to some other direction by lifting yourself and try to take rest by changing your lying posture. This will surely help to relieve the constant pressure on your skin.
- Skin protection:
Preventive measures to protect the skin from damage are very significant. Try to keep your skin moisturized to prevent any tenderness that may be caused by the dryness and friction against the surface. Try to make the surface smooth by soft bedding and applying talcum powder on the skin to avoid friction. The most important point is to keep the skin clean and maintain hygiene to prevent the possibility of infection.
If your loved ones are suffering from some serious illness and are not able to move then try to help them to make themselves healthy and active. Try some activities with them to make them active as much as possible. Try to make some modifications in your home to create ease for them to stay healthy both mentally and physically. If they suffer from pressure sores then opt for the following practices:
1. Remove the Pressure:
The first and immediate step is to change the position that is causing pressure on the skin to relieve the sore from further damage.
2. Dress and Clean the Wound:
If the skin has bruised into a wound, clean the open wound with saline solution. Cover the wound with a bandage to allow it for healing. If the skin is not damaged, clean and moisturize it properly.
3. Remove damaged skin:
When the skin tissue is damaged, dead cells accumulate at the site of injury leading to infection. To avoid the risk of infection and further complications remove the dead tissue by consultation of health professionals.
Complications of Elderly Pressure Sores
If proper treatment is not provided for these sores, they can cause severe complications and severe illness. It can cause cancer or sepsis that may affect various organs of the body which could be life-threatening. Untreated sores may lead to bone and joint infection and it causes deleterious damage to the tissues cartilage and joints.
On the other hand, in severe cases, tissue surgery is needed. All the above-listed tips will be helpful to get rid of pressure sores.