Treating bedsores in the elderly requires cleaning the wounds, applying bandages, and doing whatever possible to keep the person with bedsores from putting pressure on them. Bedsores are the result of sitting or lying in one position for too long. This occurs most often in elderly populations who live in nursing homes.
Know How to Treat Bedsores
When you discover bedsores, it is important to know how to treat them. The process to treat bedsores in the elderly includes:
- Cleaning: A caregiver will use an antiseptic, topical treatment, or wash with a saline solution to prevent the risk of infection.
- Bandaging: Apply a bandage to the affected area to trap moisture and keep the sore from drying out. Caregivers use films, gauze, gels, foams, and other medically approved coverings. A combination of these items may be necessary depending on the stage of the bedsore.
- Medication: Many over-the-counter medications may be used to reduce pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are helpful after cleaning and dressing the wound.
- Therapy: A caregiver may use vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) to help clean a wound with suction. This is designed to prevent infection and keep the area around the wound dry.
- Diet: Patients with diabetes are more at risk of developing bedsores. Eating foods high in nutritional value aids the body with healing.
- Surgery: Your doctor may elect to perform surgery depending on how long the bedsore is taking to heal. Using flap reconstruction, the surgeon can use a pad of your muscle, skin, or other tissue to cushion the wound from the bone.
Speak with a medical professional for the best course of treatment regarding your loved one’s condition. It is important that you treat bedsores in the elderly immediately.
Bedsores Come in Different Stages
Being bedridden, unconscious, or immobile increases the likelihood of developing bedsores. These wounds can be very painful and typically take a long time to heal. A bedsore occurs when continued pressure is put on areas where the bone is close to the skin and reduces blood flow. Such areas include the heels of the feet, a person’s shoulder blades, the backs and sides of the knees, the back of the head, the tailbone, or the hips.
The stage of the bedsore determines what kind of care is necessary to treat bedsores in the elderly. These stages are:
- Stage 1: The affected area looks red and may feel warm to the touch. In patients with darker complexions, the area may appear to have a blue or purple tint. The patient may report burning, itching, or persistent pain.
- Stage 2: The area appears to be an open sore, scrape, or blister. The skin around the wound is discolored and shows signs of irritation.
- Stage 3: The sore now shows loss of skin and takes on a crater-like appearance. These sores can extend to the layer of fat beneath the skin.
- Stage 4: The most severe stage, the sore is now a full-thickness wound that extends deep into the underlying muscle or bone.
Once you have treated the bedsores and taken steps to minimize the chances of new bedsores forming, you should consider the circumstances that led to the development of your loved one’s condition.
A critical part of caregiving is actively preventing conditions and treating them immediately if they start to develop. If you are the one that discovered your loved one’s bedsores, it may be a red flag that their caregivers failed to uphold basic standards of care. It could even be considered elder abuse.
Your Loved One May Be Eligible for Financial Awards If They Were Neglected
If you suspect that your loved one has not received adequate care, or suffered injuries as a result of neglect, a lawyer can help you build a case against the nursing home. Our team can help by:
- Meeting with you and your loved one to document personal accounts.
- Immediately initiating legal action.
- Collecting evidence and obtaining accounts from nursing home administrators and staff.
- Handling all legal responsibilities necessary to complete a judgment or settlement.
- Ensuring your loved one’s rights are protected throughout the legal process.
We want to ensure that your loved one suffers no further harm if a nursing home was neglectful. Call our team at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 201-3999 to discuss your case. Our clients pay nothing out of pocket, and nothing upfront. We only collect a fee if we secure a judgment or settlement.