Decubitus ulcers, or bedsores, are not a pleasant experience for anyone. They are commonly caused by pressure from lying in one position without moving for prolonged periods of time. This reduces the flow of blood to the tissue. The result of such restriction for longer than two or three hours is the death of the epidermis cells, causing ulceration. They often form in bony areas with less cushioning fat, like tailbones and elbows.
If left untreated, they may become open wounds. This raises the chance for infection. The elderly residents of care facilities, an already vulnerable portion of the population, comprise a significant part of those who suffer from bedsores. There exist multiple reasons for this.
1. Nursing home employees fail to reposition individuals often enough
Patients in nursing homes often have limited mobility and fragile skin. Friction from not shifting position often enough may cause bedsores. Sheets sliding over the limbs, particles like crumbs captured in them and creases in the coverings may all lead to them. Nurses need to regularly shift residents around and maintain the bedclothes to avoid the development of sores.
2. Nursing home employees move individuals incorrectly
When skin and bone pass each other in opposing directions, it causes shear. This exerts stress on blood vessels, resulting in pressure sores. This action may occur if those repositioning/moving patients do not do it gently enough. It may also happen during sleep if the elderly individuals slide down the bed.
3. Nursing home employees neglect to provide proper food and water
Poor nutrition, malnourishment and dehydration all weaken the skin. This raises the likelihood of developing skin lesions.
Bedsores may have serious consequences if not properly cared for. They come in different stages of severity. In the worst cases, they may take years to heal. Individuals with aged loved ones in nursing homes need to regularly check on them to ensure their comfort and well-being.