Compassionate Legal Support When You Need It Most
Compassionate Legal Support When You Need It Most

How to tell if your elderly loved one has bedsores

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a common issue among elderly individuals who spend a lot of time in bed or sitting in one position. These sores can cause significant discomfort and health complications if not addressed promptly.

It is important to recognize the signs of bedsores, especially if an elderly loved one is in a nursing home and may not be receiving adequate care or is reluctant to speak up about their condition.

Recognizing the signs of bedsores

The first sign of a bedsore is often a patch of skin that appears red or darker than the surrounding area. In individuals with darker skin tones, the discoloration might appear purple, blue or shiny.

If the area of discolored skin feels swollen or tender, it could be an early indication of a developing bedsore. The skin may also feel firmer or softer than the surrounding tissue. As the bedsore worsens, the skin might break open and form blisters or shallow ulcers.

In advanced stages, bedsores can penetrate deeper into the skin and tissues, creating large, deep wounds that expose muscle or bone. This severe stage can lead to serious infections and other complications.

Examining common pressure points

Bedsores commonly develop on areas where the skin covers bony parts of the body. It is important to regularly check these areas, especially if the elderly loved one spends a lot of time in bed or sitting. Common pressure points include:

  • Tailbone and buttocks
  • Heels and ankles
  • Hips and elbows
  • Shoulder blades and spine

If it seems as if an elderly loved one in a nursing home is uncomfortable or in pain without explanation, checking these pressure points can be an appropriate response.

Preventing bedsores involves regular repositioning, using specialized cushions or mattresses and ensuring good skin hygiene. If any signs of bedsores are noticed, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.