Bedsores 101: What Live-in Caregivers Should Know
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, should be a major concern for all live-caregivers, especially those who take care of bedridden elderly patients. Surprisingly, the number of patients bedsores have killed plummets to over 60,000 each year, a figure which rockets higher in caregiving homes and hospitals. While a small red spot on the elderly’s back skin seems harmless, it can be dangerous for our sickly loved ones.
Filipino caregivers often receive basic elderly care instructions in their caregiving course, making them familiar to bedsores. Eden Grace Caregivers Agency would like to give your Filipino caregiver / Indo caregiver some refreshment knowledge all about bedsores and what it does to our patients.
Are bedsores dangerous?
From a fresh pressure wound that is painful enough to limit mobility and cause a very foul smell, it can develop to something fatal. The Filipino caregiver / Indo live-in caregiver must see to it that the wounds are regularly cleaned and properly dressed to avoid infection. Pressure ulcers, when it reaches the dangerous stage can become a deadly infection called ‘sepsis’. This is when dangerous microorganisms could enter the elderly patient’s bloodstream through the pressure wound and in worst case scenarios, may also lead to limb amputation and severe body deformities.
How do bedsores form?
By definition, bedsores are “the areas where the skin and/or underlying tissues have been damaged, which leads to an irritated, open wound.” The tissue damage happens when the skin is sandwiched between the bone and the bed, making it difficult for the blood to freely flow thus causing a tissue injury. The skin protects us from harmful microorganisms, so a skin injury should be taken seriously by the Filipino caregiver and Indo caregiver.
Based on most hospital scenarios, the main causes of bedsores are: Lying or sitting too long without changing positions, frequent friction or rubbing on bedsheets or other relatively hard objects, or when the elderly patient’s body frequently slides on the chair or bed or in other terms, shearing.
Body parts that are very prone to bedsores:
- The pelvic ‘sit bones’ which is always in contact with the wheelchair seat for non-ambulatory elderly patients.
- The sacrum, the Filipino caregiver / Indo caregiver would notice this part as a vulnerable spot near the patient’s tailbone.
- The sides of the hips, which becomes prone to bedsores as the patient lies on his side.
- The protruding parts of the back which is always in contact with the bed.
- The back of the head which often touches the pillow.
- Other body parts that are pressed against hard surfaces.
How the Live-in Caregiver Should Relieve Bedsores
Here are ways to relieve the early stage of pressure ulcer:
- A variety of special forms of beddings and pillows are available in the market nowadays. ‘Egg crate Anti Bedsore Mattress’, for example, discourages pressure ulcer on the elderly patient’s body when closely monitored by the Indo caregiver / Filipino caregiver. To alleviate the pressure further, the live-in caregiver may also try powdering the beddings lightly as it lessens the friction.
- The Filipino caregiver / Indo caregiver may reposition the patient to redistribute the pressure exerted on the body tissues. To do so, the live-in caregiver must adjust the bed to reduce back strain. She must get close to the patient during the process, placing him to the centre of the bed so the patient won’t fall off.
- Cleaning the pressure ulcer, on the other hand, requires the live-in caregiver to remove the patient’s loose dead skin tissue by rinsing it with salt water. This process is quite painful so the live-in caregiver must be gentle as much as possible. She must also find the special gauze needed for bedsores since the other types of gauze is not as effective in preventing infection.
- Above everything, the live-in caregiver must ensure that the elderly is healthy and observing a balanced diet. Bedsores heal fast when the elderly is hydrated, eating well, and getting enough sleep.
Are we in need of someone who can take good care of our loved ones? Consider the reliable caregiving and maid services from Eden Grace Caregivers Agency. The agency has caregivers who undergo proper training and background checking to fit our manpower needs.
Please contact us for a fuss-free consultation with our unique personal screenings of our caregivers. Eden Grace Caregivers Agency looks forward to serving you!