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Older adults who are bedridden for long periods of time are susceptible to bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. They are injuries that are caused by constant pressure to the skin, especially over bony areas such as elbows, shoulder blades, hips, and the tailbone. The skin can break down over time, forming an open painful sore.
It is imperative that seniors change positions often throughout the day and night to prevent bedsores. Santa Clarita home care providers recommend that seniors move every couple of hours with or without the help of a caregiver. Avoiding prolonged pressure to any part of the body is the first step in preventing bedsores in the elderly.
Many older adults with limited mobility can still maintain a daily exercise regimen. It may only involve a slight lifting of the arms and legs, but even that limited motion can improve blood flow, strengthen the body, and build up muscle tissue. Even small movements help seniors maintain healthy skin.
The skin needs to be kept dry to keep excess moisture away from sensitive areas. The skin should be cleaned regularly with mild soap and warm water to stop bacteria from building up. After washing, at-home caregivers should always make sure to gently dry the area thoroughly before using a moisturizer to prevent dryness.
Pillows, when used correctly, are a great way to relieve the pressure that causes bedsores. Seniors have found benefits from the use of pillows when placed between parts of the body that press against each other when sleeping on the side such as the knees and ankles. Putting a pillow under the lower part of the calves will help keep the vulnerable ankles from sitting directly on the bed.
Being the primary caregiver to a senior loved one can be challenging, especially if he or she is bedbound from injury or illness. Find the additional support you need by calling Home Care Assistance at 661.259.9914. Our respite caregivers in Santa Clarita give family caregivers the time they need to regroup while ensuring seniors maintain comfort and safety at home. Reach out today. We look forward to speaking with you.