As your senior spends more time bedridden, she’s more likely to experience something called skin breakdown. This is a condition that involves pressure sores and other problems that you can help her to avoid. You may not be able to completely prevent skin breakdown for your senior, but you can reduce the impact that it has on her health and her quality of life.
Skin and Bedding Need to Stay Clean and Dry
It’s difficult to bathe your senior, especially if she’s in bed all day, every day. You might want to avoid bothering her by trying to bathe her, but that can actually cause problems. Even with mobility concerns it’s possible to bath your senior, often right there in bed. Changing out the bedding at the same time helps to ensure that both her bedding and her skin are able to be as clean and dry as possible, even if it’s tough for her to get out of bed.
Changing Positions Every Couple of Hours Can Help
It’s also important for your senior to change positions every few hours. Staying in the same position puts pressure on her skin, particularly around joints and other tender areas. Shifting those positions helps to reduce that pressure on one specific area. Even if your senior still feels comfortable, that pressure builds up, so it’s important to shift positions carefully and often.
What She Eats Matters
Believe it or not, the nutrition your senior is getting can influence how likely it is for her skin to break down. She may not be interested in eating, but if she’s eating foods that have high nutritional value, even if she’s not eating a lot, that makes a difference. Smoothies and puddings that have plenty of healthy ingredients can help her to get the nutrition she needs and might stimulate her appetite.
There May Be Other Answers, Too
Depending on your senior’s specific health issues, there may be more that you can do for her. Talk with her medical team and determine if there are other options that could help. You might consider changing out her mattress for one that cushions her body better or you might change her bedding to more natural fabrics.
Hospice care providers can help you to stay on top of everything that needs to be done in order to protect your senior’s skin. They’ve been in these situations before and can help you to recognize when there might be more going on.