Skin Care & Prevention Of Bed Care

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Exercise, ambulation, and range of motion exercises promote circulation, and circulation helps to prevent the formation of pressure sores, explains the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This is much more than simply getting out of bed and into a wheelchair too. Pressure sores may develop on the tailbone, hip, shoulders, or heels from prolonged sitting in a wheelchair, so variety in movement is key.
Use wheelchairs when necessary, but offer to help seniors get into recliners or other more-cushioned chairs. Also, avoid leaving seniors in one position in any location for an extended period. This includes repositioning seniors while laying down or while awake during the day.

The skin should be checked frequently for the signs of developing pressure sores. A pressure sore may develop in less than a few hours.
For example, have you ever experienced increased soreness and redness on your buttocks while driving for more than an hour or two? If so, you developed a Stage I pressure sore, but your ability to move allows you to recognize the pain and adjust your position to prevent it from progressing.
For some seniors, you must be the one to check and recognize the signs of a pressure sore are development when performing perineal care, providing showers, or performing other assessments of skin integrity. All such checks should be documented as well.
Depending on the needs of each senior, specialty beds, such as water or air mattress toppers, or special, cushioned padding, such as heel protectors, may be needed to reduce the amount of pressure placed on sensitive areas of the body. These additional materials should not be limited to mattresses or modifications to footwear. Instead, keep the options open for what may and may not be the most comfortable and beneficial to the needs of seniors.
For example, a memory foam pillow is great, but it does little good if it is always placed in the same position. Furthermore, soft, pillow-like wedges may be used to help seniors remain on their sides while lying in bed between repositioning times.
Some newer beds may suggest automatic turning is available for use. However, these systems do not completely reposition a person. As a result, it is best to use these systems in conjunction with manually reposition a person.

Senior caregivers play major roles in preventing the development of pressure sores, so consider implementing an incentive-based program. This program can utilize data from your pressure sore tracking measures to provide a “reward or recognition” to caregivers that maintain repositioning and actively work to reduce the prevalence of pressure sores among those in your care.

Incontinence is one of the biggest factors associated with the development of pressure sores. When bowel movement or urine stays in contact with the skin, acids and enzymes in them will begin to cause excoriation and degradation of the skin faster than usual. When combined with limited ability to reposition oneself, a senior may develop a pressure sore in the perineal area faster.
If the area appears to become reddened, the senior may have developed a Stage I pressure sore. When this occurs, it is best to assume the area has been subject to more intense pressures and proceed with appropriate treatment, such as the use of barrier cream to help prevent further excoriation due to bodily substances. However, the use of a barrier cream does not negate the need for continued repositioning and movement to help prevent worsening of the area.

The benefits of a well-functioning circulatory system are only as good as the nutrients it delivers. Seniors should strive to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet, explains Medscape. Optimizing the nutritional status of a senior living with a pressure sore is key to ensuring successful treatment. For seniors living with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, a healthy diet can go much further than simply preventing or encouraging the healing of pressure sores.

Chronic health conditions may also impact the risk of developing pressure sores. Any condition that affects the function of the cardiovascular system may result in poor circulation and greater risk for pressure sores asserts Health line. As a result, the effective management of these conditions remains critical, in addition to all aforementioned steps, to preventing the development or worsening of pressure sores.
This may include monitoring fluid intake for those with heart failure, maintaining dietary restrictions for seniors with kidney disease, or ensuring medication interactions do not result in poor circulatory function.