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Are Pressure Ulcers a Risk for Your Aging Parent?

Aug 31, 2018 by Nancy Hmieleski, RN, BSN Director of Nursing

Many challenges come with caring for an elderly adult who is not able to be active, or who must remain sitting or lying down for a large portion of their time. Whether it is due to an injury or illness, lingering effects of an issue, or an ongoing problem that requires them to be bedridden or use a wheelchair, if your aging parent is not able to stand or move around regularly, they can face serious risks. One is pressure ulcers. Also referred to as bedsores, these are wounds caused by the pressure placed on specific areas of the body when a person remains in the same position for a long period. Understanding this risk can help you to modify your care efforts to protect your parent from the ulcers themselves, as well as the complications that can occur as a result, including infections. 

Some factors that increase risk for pressure ulcers include:

  • Long periods of immobility requiring being in bed or sitting, and make it difficult or impossible for your aging parent to change positions regularly
  • Not being able to perceive pain or other sensations that could signal a pressure ulcer is forming
  • Not eating a well-balanced diet. Not having the proper nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that build and protect skin, makes it more likely the skin will break down when under pressure
  • Not being properly hydrated. The skin needs fluid to stay resilient and strong. Elderly adults already tend to have skin that is thinner, drier, and less resilient, and not being hydrated makes these risk factors worse
  • Struggling with health issues that restrict blood flow. Proper circulation is vital to skin health, and if your parent deals with a health problem such as diabetes that cause problems with blood flow, they are more likely to face bedsores and other skin issues

Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions you can make for your aging parent during your experience as their family caregiver. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a fully customized schedule to ensure they have access to all of the care, support, and assistance they need. These personalized services will help your parent stay safe, healthy, and comfortable, while also promoting a lifestyle that is more active, engaged, and independent as they age in place. This can include helping your parent keep their skin healthy, encouraging physical activity, and helping your parent move around even when they are struggling with mobility issues so they can avoid potentially serious problems such as pressure ulcers. 

If you or an elderly loved one are considering senior care in Belvidere, NJ, or the surrounding areas, call the caring professionals at Comfort Keepers of Flemington, NJ. Call today (908) 806-2220.

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