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What are bedsores?

If caring for your infirm loved one becomes too difficult, you may feel confident entrusting their care to a nursing home or care center believing that its staff will be able to provide the attention and supervision your family member or friend needs. Sadly, that does not always happen. Nursing home staffs might overlook some of their residents' more subtle needs. While they may feel as though they can get away with omitting care practices that might be minor, when your loved one is in need of constant care, no aspect of their life should be overlooked

This is especially true if they are confined to a bed or to a wheelchair. While some might mistakenly believe that people in such a position require less care and supervision, the opposite is often true. If your friend or family member is unable to get up and ambulate frequently, they run the risk of developing bedsores. According to information shared by the Mayo Clinic, bedsores (or "pressure ulcers," as they are called by clinicians), occur when constant pressure is applied to a certain area of the body. Blood flow to that area eventually slows, causing the skin and surrounding tissue to slowly die. Bedsores typically start as discoloration to the affected area, followed by swelling and (if left untreated) the drainage of pus. Severe bedsores can lead to serious infections that can often lead to amputation or even death. 

For those confined to wheelchairs and beds, the areas most prone to bedsores include: 

  • Back and shoulder blades
  • Tailbone and buttocks
  • Heels, ankles, and knees

Bedsores can easily be prevented if nursing home staff members take the time to ensure that your loved one moves around as much as possible to avoid sitting or lying in the same position for extended periods. 

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