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Bedsores and the Elderly: Providing Home Care in NYC

Bedsores can be a problem
Our NYC care givers are trained to help reduce them

Bedsores aren't a problem for this happy senior couple chatting on bedWhen caring for an elderly New York City individual it is important to be aware of any and all ailments that may affect their lives on a daily basis. One ailment that can easily be developed is decubitus ulcers or bedsores. Bedsores can be more commonly known as a pressure sore, or an ulcer but it forms when an elderly individuals skin is in contact with a bed or a wheelchair for an extended period of time.

At Alvita Home Care we train all our caregivers to be wary and treat any signs of bedsores before they become a problem. This article can be used to learn more information about bedsores, how your loved one may be at risk for them, preventative measures, and treatment options. While bedsores can be painful, there are treatment methods to help ease the pain of them, and to decrease their presence before it becomes a larger issue.

Bedsores form where there is a lack of padding in an individual’s muscle or fat.

Common area that bedsores often present themselves is in the tailbone, the shoulder blades, the hips, heels, and elbows. When an elderly individual is lacking in mobility it cuts off their circulation causing bedsores to form. As blood flow decreases and is compressed the tissue in one’s skin is deprived of oxygen and nutrients causing the skin to die. Typically, this can happen in a day but it is not always noticeable until a few days or weeks later.

Additional outside elements such as surgery, illness, wheelchair or bed stiffness, arthritis or injury all can increase the risk of an elderly NYC individual having bedsores. Those that are diabetic or a paraplegic also are at an increased risk as it is more common for them to lose feeling in different areas of their body. Finally, there are two additional areas that can cause bedsores to be formed. These areas involve shear and friction that affects elderly individuals skin.

Shear happens when a person’s skin moves in one direction but the bone is moving in the opposite direction.

This can happen when your loved one is placed into a bed or a wheelchair during transferring and can cause the skin to shear. Friction occurs due to constant moving and rubbing of the skin and it can cause the skin to break down and become thin in certain areas. This especially happens as skin becomes more fragile with age. At Alvita Home Care we train all of our caregivers to watch for signs of shear and friction and to treat them at the first sign.

There are a few different risk factors & stages that bed sores can occur in.

Bedsores are usually common as a person becomes older and their skin is more fragile. A small cut or tear while it may seem minor, can lead to bedsores if not properly treated in elderly NYC individuals during their routine activities. Additional risk factors include smoking, no pain perception, incontinence when using the bathroom, malnutrition, dementia or diabetes.

In order to be aware of bedsores and how they progress, there are four different stages that our care-givers are trained to monitor.

When a person has stage 1 bedsores they may have itchy or red skin. Occasionally, the sore is hot or spongy when it is touched but it can also feel hard at times. When the individual has darker skin, a bedsore may look purple or blue and it can be flakey or ashy. These marks typically disappear when pressure is removed from the spot.

For a stage 2 bedsore the sore typically looks as though it is a blister or abrasion. This is a warning sign especially if the skin is discolored. Proper treatment is encouraged immediately in this moment to ensure that the bedsore heals properly.

During stage 3 bedsores become very painful and treatment is more difficult. The pain associated with this is due to the ulcer extending through one’s skin layer to their muscle. If the wound looks deep the tissue around that area of the skin is most likely destroyed. In the final stage, bedsores can destroy muscle, bone, tendons and joints in an individual. This tends to be lethal and at Alvita Care our caregivers work hard to ensure bedsores are treated before they get to a more serious stage.

In order to prevent bedsores, we encourage our caregivers to ensure they are constantly re-positioning your loved one’s body when they are in a bed or a wheelchair, every few hours in a bed or every couple of minutes in a wheelchair. This helps to prevent bedsores and if it continues special pillows, mattresses or cushions can be ordered to help alleviate sores. Using support for one’s legs is also important as it helps to keep the body circulated. Finally, we encourage all of our New York City and Long Island caregivers at Alvita Home Care to constantly monitor and inspect your loved ones for any signs of the beginnings of bedsores and to treat them at the first sign. This helps ensure that a cure is easily achievable.

There are some additional recommended treatments for bedsores. These include improving your loved one’s nutrition, ensuring any wounds are regularly cleaned, and that the wound is dressed properly. At Alvita Home Care we can assist with all of these treatments options to stop bedsores in their tracks. We encourage you to look into additional resources online and contact us if you have more questions regarding bedsores or you can call us at Alvita Care today at 212-273-0490 and we can help answer any of your questions.

Works Cited:
http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/bedsores

About AlvitaCare

Alvita Care is a fully licensed home healthcare company providing premier in home caregiver services to seniors living in New York City and on Long Island NY. With offices in Midtown Manhattan and Hauppauge NY, Alvita Care was founded in 2008 upon the idea of "Care Without Compromise". Our care-giving services enhance seniors' lives, by improving their well-being, dignity and independence. We have earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval and pride ourselves with our proprietary caregiver matching process that carefully matches our experience caregivers to each client based on personality and technical skills needed. Alvita Care can help whether you need assistance for several hours a few times a week or you require live-in or around-the-clock assistance. Our caregivers provide assurance and relief to families by relieving their anxiety, knowing that their loved one is safe, happy and lovingly cared for.