As a carer for the elderly, you have to be alert to a senior’s wants and needs at all times. Those needs can be in the form of mental stimulation, conversation and catering for likes whilst avoiding dislikes, but they can also appear in the form of physical problems that need to be corrected as soon as humanly possible, if indeed it if possible at all. Pressure sores fall into the latter category. A pressure sore may start off as a simple tear in the skin but, if not treated immediately, can end up as a gaping wound that travels right down to the bone and muscle of an individual. The innocuous nature of the pressure sore’s humble beginnings means carers have to be fully alert to any physical imperfections at all times in order to avoid horrendous abnormalities at a later date. This is a quick guide of what to look for in the first instance and how to treat a pressure sore that does develop.
A pressure sore is commonly tissue that deteriorates as a result of sitting or lying still for a long period of time. Too much pressure is put on a particular area of skin and it will begin to crack and break. The pressure will in fact restrict blood flow to that particular area of skin and if one fails to move and restore blood supply then the sore will eventually start to form. It may initially just appear as a red area that will not seem to go away. Pressure sores, or the beginnings of them, do not tend to disappear quickly, which will alert you to the fact that the area needs attention.
The pressure sore may begin to form on the lower back, bottom, legs and ankles. In short, they can occur wherever blood flows close to the surface and there is a lack of fat, which also acts as a cushion. You can use rolling, tuning and adjusting techniques to try and prevent pressure sores occurring or, if they are already present, to help them heal as quickly as possible. Turing will allow the blood to flow again under the sore area, thus promoting healing rather than treatment. This is a common trick in nursing homes. Whilst it is slightly cruel to move an elderly person when he or she is comfortable, it is actually worse and a lot more cruel to leave the sore to develop.
Pressure sores can be treated with antiseptic cushioning pads with antiseptic cream applied to kill all germs. The area must always be kept clean or you are running the risk of allowing the sore to become infected. If it does indeed get infected then you will immediately know. The sore will begin to eats its way deeper under the surface until it eventually creates a hole. It will also smell terrible, just like rotting flesh, as well as oozing green and yellow pus. This can be effectively treated with salt water or betadine solutions. Dressings must be changed at least twice a day and any dead cells within the sore must be removed in order to promote health and healing.
Pressure sores are a cause for concern for any carer, but can be nipped in the bud before they truly begin to cause a problem. Effective care will soon reduce the redness to skin that marks the beginning of a pressure sore. Once you have seen one, I promise you that you will go to any length to try and prevent any more occurring. It is important that you familiarize yourself with general information about pressure sores the methods of treating them because it may be an important part of the care you administer. However, if you ensure that the senior in your care is moved regularly then you may never get to treat one, hopefully!
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Content: PLR, Image: Pixabay