As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to bedsores or pressure sores. Bedsores, which form when the skin lays against something for a long period of time, are extremely painful and difficult to treat. They are more common in people who are bedridden or unable to move about freely, as they often spend a great deal of time sitting or lying. They are also common in wheelchair-bound people. If your loved one has mobility issues, you have to do your part to prevent bedsores. Following are three ways you can keep your loved one's skin healthy and free of sores.
Help Them Change Positions Frequently
One of the best ways to prevent bedsores is to eliminate pressure placed against one area of the skin for an extended period of time. You can do this by helping your loved one change positions frequently. Strive to help them change positions about once every hour, more often if they're uncomfortable or if their skin is damp from sweat, urine or other bodily fluids. If your loved one can shift positions slightly on their own, encourage them to do so every 15 minutes.
Care for Their Skin
Protect your loved one's skin by keeping it clean and dry at all times. Change diapers frequently and use protective creams in vulnerable areas, such as the groin and buttocks. Cleanse the skin with mild soap and warm water daily and be sure to rinse it thoroughly so the skin doesn't become irritated. Pat the skin dry and apply powder to areas that are prone to dampness and lotion to areas that are dry. While you're cleaning the skin, be sure to inspect it for any signs of developing sores.
Hire Help for When You're Not Around
It's difficult for one person to see to the needs of their loved one around the clock. If you must be away from your loved one, hire a home health service, like A Better Home Health Care, that will help them move about and stay clean while you're away. A home health worker can also help you with skin inspections and help you spot and treat any signs of sores before they become a major problem.
Caring for your loved one's skin is a large part of keeping them healthy. Be sure to help your loved one change positions frequently, keep their skin clean and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.