For those of you lucky enough to be unfamiliar with pressure sores they are areas of damaged skin. Also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers, these painful areas are caused by spending long periods of time in one position. They commonly form where bone doesn’t have much cushion.
There are several ways to avoid or minimize pressure sores.
One of the best ways to prevent pressure sores is to get moving. Even if you are able to walk only a few steps or just to stand with support for a few minutes each day, this will do wonders in giving those pressure areas some relief.
Consider a waterbed or an air mattress toppers, or custom cushioned padding to reduce pressure on sensitive points. Memory foam mattresses or pillows may also help.
Those of us who spend significant amounts of time in wheelchairs can tell you how important having just the right cushion is. A properly designed cushion is more comfortable and cuts down on the possibility of pressure sores.
Technology has come a long way in improving wheelchair cushion design to prevent and ease pressure sores. Be sure to discuss your concerns with an occupational therapist. She/he will work with a provider of wheelchair cushions to select or custom design one which minimizes the possibility of pressure sores.
Keeping the skin healthy is key. Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently wash the pressure areas. Avoid strong soaps. Shower or bathe daily. Dry pressure areas with soft, absorbent towels. After shower or bath, apply skin protestant cream. Avoid talc powders.
Where pressure points develop in such areas as hips, elbows, knees, placing pillows around the pressure area can relieve the soreness. You can buy cushions especially designed to relieve pressure or use available pillows.
If you've ever been confined to bed or wheelchair for extended periods, you will know how certain spots can develop soreness. One easy and effective way to ease these areas is to change position often. Just shifting to the side or pushing farther back in your chair is often enough to ease the area. Some wheelchair cushions are designed so you can pump up areas of the seat or release air to change the position that is feeling pressure.
For those who have limited mobility and/or who lack the strength to shift positions can be fitted with a wheelchair that redistributes their body to ease pressure points.
Besides making sitting or lying very uncomfortable, pressure sores have deeper health ramifications. They can destroy not just skin but underlying tissue. Left untreated, sores can go all the way into muscle and even bone. Bacteria can thus invade and cause infection. In worst case scenarios sepsis can prove fatal.
This is a consumer-friendly course for the elderly and those who care for them. Its purpose is to make raise awareness of the issues surrounding medication safety, especially for older persons.