Pressure Sore Prevention
As we age, our skin becomes thin and dry and less elastic. This is one reason that the elderly are at-risk for pressure sores. Health experts say many pressure sores dont have to occur. In fact, caregivers say bedsores are easier to prevent than to treat. When an elderly nursing home resident gets a bedsore it is usually a case of neglect. Our nursing home abuse and neglect trial team has successfully represented abused and neglected residents in almost every county.
Nutrition is crucial in preventing skin breakdown and aides in the healing process. Malnourished residents are very susceptible to pressure sores. It’s essential to get enough calories, protein, vitamins and minerals in your diet.
Daily skin inspections are necessary for early detection and prevention. Pay special attention to hips, spine and lower back, shoulder blades, elbows, heels, buttocks and tailbone and feet. If there are any signs of damage or infection (drainage, foul odor, increased tenderness, redness and warmth in surrounding skin) contact the caregiver immediately.
Experts advise shifting position every 15 to 30 minutes that you’re in a wheelchair and at least every two hours, even during the night, while in bed. If unable to move independently, a caregiver must be available to help. Utilize foam pillows or wedges for support or to keep knees or ankles from touching.
If there are any signs of pressure sores or neglect, alert the nursing staff, attending physician and nursing home director.
Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice, S.C. is a team of Wisconsin injury attorneys and support staff that have a devoted nursing home neglect practice.