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5 Tips for Preventing Bed Sores

Preventing Bed Sores in the Elderly

Bed sores, also referred to as pressure ulcers, are a common problem amongst the elderly. They develop when pressure is applied to the skin over time, for example when a person is sleeping or sitting without changing position for too many hours. While almost everyone’s skin thins and becomes delicate as they age, everyone is different in terms of how quickly they might develop pressure sores.

Not only can bed sores cause discomfort, but they can also lead to serious infections if not handled quickly and appropriately. Diseases caused by bed sores include meningitis, endocarditis, and cellulitis. At Paradise Valley Care, our team is specially trained in bed sore prevention techniques. Since the shoulder blades, elbows, tailbone, hips, and heels are the most common places for bedsores to occur, our team takes special care to ensure ideal positioning for uninterrupted blood flow.

Some elderly people have undergone medical treatments that have left them bedridden for a period of time. Others may not like to move very much when they are sitting or sleeping, putting them at risk for bedsores. Our attentive team works to prevent bed sores by adhering to these five rules:

When we have a bedridden resident in our care, our team undertakes the essential responsibility to ensure they are repositioned every 1-2 hours. Not only do we strive to ensure the same parts of the body aren’t feeling pressure when we move them, but we also try to reposition in new locations, such as another comfortable piece of furniture or another room in the house.

One of the best ways to prevent bed sores is to keep the skin clean and dry. At Paradise Valley Care, we help our bedridden residents feel their best by assisting them with daily bathing and hygiene.

To keep the muscles moving and assist repositioning, it’s important that bedridden residents perform a few daily range of motion exercises. We help our residents raise their head, arms, and legs one at a time and hold them in place for up to ten seconds.

Paradise Valley Care keeps extra comfortable pillows on hand for use with bedridden residents. We adhere to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommendations, which suggest a pillow be placed between knees and ankles, and even under the tailbone, shoulders, and ankles to help prevent bed sores.

Our team fully understands the link between nutrition and overall health and wellness. We provide our residents with nutritious, delicious meals and snacks to ensure their skin and bodies remain healthy and disease-free. Adequate hydration is crucial for the elderly, who often do not drink enough water and other hydrating fluids. At Paradise Valley Care, we monitor each resident’s daily intake of fluids and frequently encourage our residents to drink water, juice, herbal teas, and milk throughout the day.