Category: Wound Care

Caregiver helping senior man get out of bed

Preventative Steps All Caregivers Need to Take to Avoid Bed Sores

Bed sores, also known as pressure sores, affect upwards of one out of every ten older adults, and are even more prevailing in those who smoke, are living with a chronic illness like diabetes, or who have thin or fragile skin. Bed sores are not merely extremely painful – they can easily progress to infections that can become life-threatening. Pressure sores are a result of a reduction in blood flow when remaining in one place for a lengthy period of time. For people with decreased mobility or who are confined to a bed or wheelchair, the battle against bed sores can feel endless. Still, it is critical for those caring for a senior loved one to learn about bed sore prevention. So how can you avoid bed sores in seniors? These guidelines can help protect your loved one’s sensitive skin from painful and dangerous sores: Change Positions Often Help the person change position every couple of hours if confined to a bed, or hourly if confined to a wheelchair. Use lifting devices to prevent friction while repositioning. Utilize Supportive Devices Place specialized cushions and pads: Beneath calves to protect heels In between ankles and knees To lie at an angle, to protect the hips Practice Skin Care Wash the skin with a mild soap and warm water, and apply lotion. If the skin is too moist, apply talcum powder. Massage areas vulnerable to pressure sores to boost circulation. Help With a Healthy Diet and Staying Active Consult with the senior’s physician for dietary and supplement tips for improved skin health. Encourage the person to quit smoking. Improve hydration. Implement exercises each day per doctor’s guidelines. If your loved one develops a pressure sore despite taking the proper preventative measures, it may progress through these four stages: Stage 1: A bruise-like

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Peripheral Neuropathy: The Prevention and Care of Sores on the Feet

Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord, usually to the hands and feet. It can cause weakness, numbness, and pain or lack of it. Three to four percent of people over the age of 55 are affected. Neuropathy is most common in people with diabetes, but it can also be the result of traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, autoimmune or other diseases, exposure to toxins or some medications. As many as one-third of all neuropathies are from an unknown cause, and are classified as idiopathic. To learn how we can help a loved one affected by peripheral neuropathy stay home safely, contact us online or call us at (877) 691-0015. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy might include:1 Gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands Sharp, jabbing, throbbing or burning pain Extreme sensitivity to touch Pain during activities that shouldn’t cause pain, such as pain in your feet when putting weight on them or when they’re under a blanket Muscle weakness; lack of coordination and falling Feeling as if you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re not Seek medical care right away if you or a loved one notices unusual tingling, weakness or pain in the hands or feet. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling symptoms and preventing further damage to peripheral nerves. Complications People with chronic neuropathy often lose the ability to feel temperature and pain. They can burn themselves or develop open sores that are the result of pressure and friction, as from an ill-fitting shoe. Feet and other areas lacking sensation can become injured without the person knowing it. For example, without pain to signal there’s a problem, people with neuropathy can allow small abrasions

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