Decubitus ulcers (pressure sores) are often the result of immobility and being in the same position for long periods of time. When recognized and treated when still in their early stages, decubitus ulcers may be less like to progress into larger wounds. Here are some ways a senior in-home care provider can treat decubitus ulcers and prevent additional ulcers from forming.
Prevention Of New Decubitus Ulcers
The senior in-home care provider can help prevent the development of decubitus ulcers by making sure that the elderly individual does not remain in the same position for more than a couple of hours at a time. The caregiver will reposition the person every couple of hours while they are in bed or in their wheelchair to prevent the excessive buildup of pressure on bony prominences of the body such as the coccyx.
In addition to repositioning the aging adult, the senior in-home care provider will also make sure that the person's skin remains clean and dry. If the elderly person is incontinent of urine and stool, the caregiver will make sure that the person is cleaned as soon as possible. In addition, the caregiver can apply a barrier ointment on the skin to help prevent skin excoriation from irritated stool and urine from damaging the delicate skin of the individual's perineal area.
Treating Existing Decubitus Ulcers
If the senior individual has existing decubitus ulcers, then the caregiver can carry out the physician's orders to treat the wounds. For example, the doctor may recommend saline cleanses of the ulcers followed by the application of antibiotic ointment.
For some decubitus ulcers, the doctor may want the caregiver to apply a sterile gauze dressing or an occlusive bandage over the wound, but for other ulcers, the treatment of choice may be to leave the ulcer uncovered so that it can be open to the air. The caregiver will also monitor the condition of the decubitus ulcer and report any changes to the physician.
Ulcer care provided by the senior in-home care provider may also include nutritional interventions such as including more vitamin C-rich foods in the person's meal plans. Vitamin C helps promote wound healing and it also has antibacterial properties which may help prevent decubitus ulcers from getting infected.
If you are at high risk for developing decubitus ulcers because of immobility or incontinence and are unable to manage a proper skincare routine, consider hiring a senior in-home care provider. When proper skincare is administered by the caregiver, decubitus ulcers and skin infections may be less likely to occur.
To find out more, contact a company like COMPASS Homecare.