The Basics of Caring for The Elderly: Pressure Sores
As a caretaker, it is especially important to know the elder person’s wants and needs. You will have to provide them either mentally or by conversing with them. You might have to look after them keenly to keep them satisfied and happy. Pressure sores can start off like a simple cut in a hand but can soon become a gaping wound when it is not treated immediately.
The wound will be very severe as it can travel right till the tissues and bones, and it will be tough to recoup from it. Caretakers must be on their toes while taking care of the elder to prevent these pressure sores to get bigger on them. This is a quick guide to help you out from pressure sores. It is better to treat them early as it can have massive effect on caretakers.
Pressure sores are developed because of sedentary activities. In other words, it is a tissue which starts to deteriorate when a person tends to sit or lie down for extended periods of time. That piece of skin will be overworked and hence causes the crack and tear.
Blood flow to that part of the skin will be restricted and if one does not restore the blood supply to that region, the sore will develop into a huge one. It is a mere red mark in the area, but this has tendencies to get bigger if left unnoticed. A pressure sore does not usually disappear immediately, and this should alert you that the area needs inspection. Detecting them at initial stages of its formation can help you suffer less.
These pressure sores might begin to form in body parts such as the lower back, legs, bottom, and the ankles. It occurs in all places where blood flow is possible and especially in places where there is not great amount of fat.
By rolling, turning, and adjusting techniques you can prevent pressure sores from occurring. If they are present already, it might help in healing them. Turning will certainly help in restoring the blood supply in that area and thus trying to heal it.
Nursing homes employ this trick. It is better to move the elder, though comfortable, to prevent sores than to let it grow and get bigger. You will have to make them understand that pressure sores are painful.
Antiseptic cushioning pads containing antiseptic cream to kill germs can help to treat these sores. The area affected should be kept clean else it gets infected more. If at all it gets infected, it will clearly be seen.
The pressure sore gets deeper and deeper if left without medication and it can be dangerous when it creates a hole in the skin. It has an obnoxious smell of rotting flesh in addition to some pus formation. Betadine solution or salt water can be used to treat these sores.
Dressings must be changed frequently and to aid healthy healing and prevent germs dead cells within the pressure sore must be removed.
Pressure sores can create huge problems for the caretaker. But if it is nipped in the bud at initial stages, it can be prevented from doing further damage. Care should be taken to avoid the redness in the skin as it is the first sign of a pressure sore.
Once you experience the pain of these pressure sores, you will go any distance to prevent it from occurring the next time. Studying about the pressure sores can be extremely helpful when it comes to treatment. If the elder is moved regularly then there is no need for you to worry about any pressure sore.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “The Golden Rule of Caring for The Elderly Revealed!”
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