Watching a parent grow older and more immobile can be difficult. So, too, can deciding to move your parent into a nursing home where he or she can get the level of care he or she needs to get by. Once your parent loses the ability to easily move about on his or her own, it becomes increasingly important that others help him or her shift positions and otherwise move about as much as possible.
When your parent does not get the mobility assistance he or she needs from nursing home or assisted living facility staff members, his or her health can suffer. One condition that often develops when an older adult remains stationary for too long is bedsores. While, in some instances, bedsores go away on their own in time, in other cases, they never completely go away. They can lead to several complications, some of which can be life-threatening.
What are bedsores, and where do they develop?
Sometimes referred to as “pressure ulcers,” bedsores are skin abrasions that can arise when someone experiences prolonged pressure to the skin on a particular part of his or her body. If your parent uses a wheelchair, he or she may be more likely to develop bedsores on his or her rear end, tailbone, shoulder blades or spine. On the other hand, if your elder loved one spends the majority of his or her time in bed, he or she could be more likely to develop bedsores on the back of his or her head. Your parent may also develop bedsores on the lower back, tailbone or the skin behind the knees.
Bedsores are often preventable if nursing home residents receive the mobility assistance they require. Staff members can help immobile patients move about or shift regularly to help prevent bedsores, and certain types of wheelchairs, mattresses and cushions can also potentially help.
Bedsores have the potential to pose a significant personal injury risk to your loved one. If you feel as if your parent is not getting the mobility assistance he or she needs, ask nursing home staff members what more they can do to accommodate him or her.