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Real members of myALZteam have posted questions and answers that support our community guidelines, and should not be taken as medical advice. Looking for the latest medically reviewed content by doctors and experts? Visit our resource section.

Bed Sores & Solutions

Bed Sores & Solutions

I have not seen any mention of bed sores and any solutions. Just discovered this might become a problem.

posted 8 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

Mary, bed sores are normally associated with prolonged periods of being in bed, pressure on the skin and eventual breakdown. They are problematic because they tend to cover a significant area, are difficult to heal and provide a route for infection to enter the body. So best avoided.

If ever you come to that situation you will probably have in home nursing support either through your PCP or hospice and they will advise you.

When Jackie became bed bound Hospice arranged for her a hospital bed with an air mattress. The mattress was brilliant. It has two complementary sets of small air pockets fed by a constantly running compressor. A control box measures the feed to each set of pockets so the each in turn has a slightly higher pressure. This means that the points where the weight of the person in bed is taken are constantly in a cycle of movement. Each bit of contact skin works a while and rests a while. This was a major factor in keeping Jackie’s skin sound through the 2 1/2 years she was bed bound.

Next is skin care itself. Every second day I would give Jackie a top to toe strip wash with wet wipes and a sensitive skin shower gel. That was followed by generous application of body lotion / face cream. This, of course, meant she had a regular, full body inspection. I kept hydrocortisone cream for any areas of redness and antiseptic barrier cream for any areas of minor skin damage.

One of Jackie’s legs became locked, bent at hip and knee. This meant there were areas of skin/skin pressure contact that were vulnerable. I used material pads to keep her legs from rubbing each other. I also used plenty of barrier cream in her groin and behind her knee where there was sweaty skin/skin contact. Fortunately Jackie was naturally very slim. Bigger people need particular attention to areas of skin folding where yeast infection is a common problem.

The final element of my prevention strategy was to call in a nurse for any skin damage at all. The one I remember was a long night of breathing/swallowing difficulty and I wasn’t on the ball. In the morning, where her cheek was in contact the pillow her saliva had attacked the top layer of her skin. Initially it looked fine, just wet. Over the next couple of days it became redder and eventually developed into a wound a couple of inches round. It took ages to heal, but I had the nurses make regular checks on it.

So summary - really difficult if they happen so well worth the hard work and attention to avoid them. Hope this helps. S.

posted 8 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

Bed sores can develop quickly if your loved one is not altering their position during sleep or even when awake. As an occupational therapist, I taught families how to properly position people to avoid skin breakdown. It means changing their position at least every 2 hours. If it gets to the point they can’t help you, you need help to help change their position. Pillows can be used to stabilize positions. Watch for fragile skin and keep pressure points off those areas. Boney areas are the first to breakdown. Ask for home health nursing and therapy assistance to teach you tips for positioning. Using an extra draw sheet can help you turn your loved one without pulling on them.

posted 8 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

Thank you Steve That was a great summary😀

posted 8 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

Thank you Steve so much for sharing your experience.

posted 8 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

Are there any kind of mattress toppers that help?

posted 8 months ago
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