As people age, they often become bed ridden, unable to turn and shift themselves in bed as needed. Those who are bound to a wheel chair because of paralysis suffer from the same problem. Without being able to move, pressure builds in one place, and a “bed sore” forms.
Bed sores are very dangerous, and a medical care professional should be contacted if you notice that they are forming. You can do a lot to take care of these sores at home, though. Here are 7 things you should be doing if you’re taking care of someone suffering from bed sores.
1. Pressure reduction. To keep sores from forming, WebMD says that people who are bedridden need to be shifted every two hours. If they are bound to a wheel chair, then shifting every 15 minutes keeps the pressure from being on the same spot all the time. By reducing constant pressure, bed sore might never form in the first place.
2. Saline solution cleaning. If a sore forms, keeping the sore clean so it can heal properly is a must. To help debride the wound and get rid of dead cells and any bacteria, MedlinPlus says to use a saline solution before putting on a new dressing.
3. Wound dressing. The Mayo Clinic says to keep the bandage clean. Bandages keep the wound moist and provides a protective layer against bacteria and dirt, which speeds the healing process. You can use gauze, gel or a foam bandage.
4. Healthy eating. WebMD says, “Eat a healthy diet with enough protein and fluids. This will help keep your skin healthy and able to heal quickly.” The Mayo Clinic also states that a healthy diet promotes faster healing.
5. Moisturizing. Another key to helping your skin heal is moisturizing it. WebMD recommends applying moisturizers after bathing and throughout the day to keep the skin from drying out. Lotions with shea butter and natural oils are excellent moisturizers.
6. Vitamins and supplements. If the sores are caused by deficiencies in the diet, Managed Healthcare Connect recommends adding in the missing vitamins. Vitamin C and zinc can both be given in order to help make up for any deficiencies. These are the two that tend affect bed sores.
7. Aloe vera gel. Pharmacognosy Research has found that aloe vera gel powder with a high molecular weight when made into an ointment has the ability to cure bed sores. Regular aloe vera gel is not exactly the same, but you may find that you can still benefit from its healing abilities. Apply the gel liberally to the cleaned bed sore and cover it with a fresh bandage.
Take proper care of the body by keeping it clean and well moisturized. Give it the proper nutrition and alleviate the pressure as much as possible. By doing all this, you can help stave off bed sores before they ever form.