2020 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review
2020 Year in Review

COVID-19: How could we see THIS Coming in 2020?

Remember our blog…Don’t Panic Over Coronavirus!! Seniors should take precautions, but not panic? Well, how could we have known????

Did you know? If you are a resident in an assisted living community, you will be one of the first to receive the COVID vaccine!! They are already reserving them!!

Here we are coming into 2021; let’s take a look back at 2020 and what we haven’t been able to do for almost an entire year!!

Ugh! Such a year. We can’t travel… No parties…No hugs…No bars… No restaurants…

I SO MISS MY PEOPLE!

I see a light, I do I truly do! I pray we’ve made it.

We have craziness in Government, riots in the street. Humans killing Humans, who are we? How did we get here?

We’ve forgotten who were your parents? Are YOU who they expect YOU to be? Kind, compassionate, genuine, selfless, generous. Who are you? Are you the person YOU expect YOU to be?

I believe this time holds a lesson. Do you? Let’s regress. Where were you when all hell broke loose?

It’s been hell…admit it. We’ve focused on family, friends, people who are around us. We’ve appreciated a day, a moment, and a memory. We have our “circle”. There have been fabulous hi- lights.

Here we are now in the season. Oh no! Scary, holidays we can’t expose our families to. It’s so emotional, sad, and horrible. What if it’s our last Thanksgiving or Christmas???

Do we take a chance? What if We (I) Expose them? The guilt, the fear, the stress!! Let’s regress again. Who are we, who taught us? You know the right thing. Do your best.

Trust yourself. Protect your people. Don’t leave them alone but trust in your compassion… If someone is alone, bring them a meal. Bake them a pie. Make a phone call. Face Time, Zoom, Skype. No one is to be alone on this holiday, use our resources to embrace our technology.

We are Americans. We are the product of our ancestors. We persevere, we always achieve.

Enjoy your holiday embrace our loved ones!! It’s up to you!! Happy Holiday’s
Be Thankful…we got this ❤️ God bless us 🙏🏼

Let’s Make 2021 the BEST Year for your loved one!If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Nursing Homes Don’t Have to be the Answer

A Nursing Home Doesn't Have to be the Answer

Are You Waiting Too Long for Assisted Living?

How do you know if you’re waiting too long to go into assisted living?

A time comes when it is too late.

People are waiting until they are so ill, the only solution they have is a nursing home.

There is no reason to go to a nursing home unless you have a machine or mechanical device needed to keep you alive (An oxygen machine is not in that category).

It does not have to be that way. Assisted living communities are the new nursing homes.

Assisted living regulations are very clear, you must be able to stand and pivot (with/without) assistance from a seat to a chair in order to be accepted in an assisted living community.
Assisted livings have different levels of licensure.

  • Standard
  • LNS (Limited Nursing Service)
  • ECC (Extended Congregate Care)
  • LMH (Limited Mental Health)
    Some offer 24-hour nursing care and some specialize in Memory Care. Most offer to age in place.

So what do these license levels mean?

Standard licensure:

offers basic assistance from medication management to assistance with dressing, bathing, and toileting.

They offer meals, transportation, and activities. Most offer apartment life-style living with services.

They are not required to have a nurse on staff.

LNS licensure:

Offers all of the same as the standard licensure, but they do have a nurse on staff or on call.
ECC Licensure:

Allows additional nursing services and total assistance with personal care services.

Your loved one may have a higher impairment level, which requires more needed assistance. Nursing is on the premises 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

LMH Licensure:

The facility administrator and staff of the facility who are in direct contact with mental health residents must complete specific training to deal with mental health residents.

All licenses can order home health for residents with a doctor’s order. Home health offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, and skilled nursing, but it must be ordered by a doctor!!

Hospice:

All residents, if accepted by hospice, can age in place with hospice care within the community they live.

Hospice does not mean end-of-life like the stigma it has been given anymore. Hospice can provide the equipment, supplies, and any additional services the assisted living community is unable to furnish. They also offer palliative care.

Back to the question: How do you know if you’ve waited too long to go into assisted living?

You really don’t until it’s too late, but with proper guidance, you can find an assisted living that can provide quality care in a home-like environment that offers your loved one and your family peace of mind.

You need to make a plan and work with a qualified senior advisor to assist you in finding the right forever home for your loved one.

We all think that caring for our loved one means that we have to physically care for them.

Not true!

Giving them a place with qualified trained caregivers and socialization with people their age is caring for them and allowing you to be their family or friend again.

Don’t let guilt rule your decisions.

Allow smart advice and caring people to guide you to give your family member the best journey of their lives.

As we all know each and every part leads us to the next best part of our lives for the time left of our lives, or the “Time of our Lives”.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

The Health Care System is Failing Our Parents & Grandparents

The health care system is failing our parents and grandparents

As a senior advocate every day I get frantic phone calls and every day I see people in crises. I help people navigate our health-care system. It’s broken and it’s heartbreaking.

The other day I received a phone call from a wife, “Can you please come help me? Will you please come to my house? I don’t know what to do.”

I walk into her house and I see her husband sitting in feces. No one is there to help them. She’s so sick she can’t possibly do anything. She has home health which her physician ordered, but they weren’t there.

She keeps calling and begging them to come, but they can’t because Medicare only allows them to come once a day.

They are trapped in our broken health care system. This is unacceptable!!!

Once a day, really???

This is one of many calls I’ve received over the years. It’s getting worse, not better.

A dear friend called me because her husband was in the hospital. The doctor told her that he had to go to a rehabilitation facility.

She told him no, COVID is rampant in rehabs and she was going to send him to an assisted living facility where he could receive care and physical therapy.

The doctor informed her that if she didn’t do what he informed her to do, he would discharge him against medical advice and Medicare would not pay her hospitalization bill.

As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, let’s add more stress. Thankfully, she called me.

That is simply not true. He can go to an assisted living community and he’s been in one for 3 weeks now.

And guess what, he’s thriving and getting stronger every day.

I could write about my experiences for pages and pages. This was only two days this month, and I work seven days a week.

We as human beings have to step up. People are suffering.

Our system is turning a blind eye. It’s our seniors who are falling into the dark hole we call the health-care system and this just shouldn’t be happening.

Our medical community must stand up to the insurance industry for something to change. Business people, insurance agents are NOT licensed doctors. Doctors go to school for 10 plus years. The people making decisions for our health care may or may not have gone to school at all. It’s time to stand up!

By the way, I did help the gentleman sitting in his feces. I gave him a bath and made his wife a cup of tea. You would have done the same, RIGHT?

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey. 

Medical Equipment and Supplies

Medical Equipment and Supplies

Do you ever find yourself wondering what is considered durable medical equipment and how it’s paid for? Every week, we get asked this while helping caregivers find longterm care for their loved ones. 

Durable medical equipment (DME) consists of the following:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Hospital beds
  • Traction equipment
  • Canes
  • Crutches
  • Walkers
  • Kidney machines
  • Ventilators
  • Oxygen
  • Monitors
  • Pressure mattresses
  • Lifts
  • Nebulizers

Does insurance pay for durable medical equipment?

Fortunately, most policies consider these items to be medically necessary and are covered. However, we recommend checking with your insurance provider to determine if DME is covered in your policy.
According to ehealthmedicare.com, “If you have Medicare Part B, Medicare covers certain medically necessary durable medical equipment if your physician or treating practitioner prescribes it for you to use in your home.”

To be covered, the prescribed medical equipment must be:

  • Durable.
  • Used for a medical purpose.
  • Not typically useful if you aren’t sick or hurt.
  • Used in your home.*

*If you are currently residing in a hospital or nursing home that is providing you with Medicare-covered care, these facilities don’t qualify as your “home.”

However, a long-term care facility does qualify as your home.

If you’re staying in a skilled nursing facility and the facility provides you with durable medical equipment, the nursing facility is responsible for the durable medical equipment.”

This means when you leave the nursing facility, you cannot take the equipment with you. 

  • Something to remember!!!! If your equipment is worn out, Medicare will only replace it if you have had the item for its whole lifetime. Its lifetime depends on the type of equipment, but it is never less than five (5) years from the date you began using the equipment.

Regular medical equipment and supplies consist of the following, just to name a few:

  • Incontinence (briefs & diapers, underpads, incontinence accessories)
  • Diabetic supplies (lancets, glucose meter test strips, glucose meters)
  • Wound care (gauze, bandages, tapes, band-aids)
  • Nutritionals and feeding supplies (oral supplements, pediatric electrolytes, feeding   tubes)
  • Ostomy (pouches, irrigation sleeves, colon, and rectal tubes)
  • Personal care (skin care, mouth care, personal hygiene accessories)
  • Aids for daily living (eye drops, utensil holders, first aid kits)
  • Therapy aids (reaching aids, non-slip matting, sock and stocking aids)

Shop for Medical Equipment and Supplies at Wholesale Prices

If you have questions contact us TODAY at 386-847-2322 or here.

Alzheimers and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

THE “FORGOTTEN” PATIENT

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many people doing things to keep everyone safe. At Assisted Living Made Simple, we are taking every precaution necessary to protect those we come in contact with.

However, there’s a sector of our vulnerable population that is being forgotten, the Alzheimer’s/Dementia patient!

Every rule has an exception, but what happens to those who don’t/can’t understand/comprehend/remember anymore? Our health care system needs to adjust or modify this rule for those who can no longer think or speak for themselves.

I want to share an experience that happened to one of our clients and his wife who wish to remain anonymous.

As we all know, you cannot enter a doctor’s office, hospital room, or professional office with a loved one, well if that patient has Alzheimer’s it is imperative that someone is in the room with them.

This couple has been dealing with Alzheimer’s for quite a few years now, and the husband has always gone to his wife’s appointments. However, he has not been allowed admittance since the COVID outbreak, she went to the doctor due to problems swallowing and he thought it best to see a physician. He took his wife to her doctor’s visit and waited outside for her.

While in with her physician, he did a biopsy and gave her a prescription for antibiotics. When she left, she forgot all this, so her prescription never got filled. Her husband was never included in this so he had no knowledge of what was wrong with her.

This is an ongoing problem with the healthcare system and the policies and procedures put in place. Procedures need to be put in place to help those with special needs and allow their loved ones to be in on the doctor visits, telehealth visits, and ER visits by providing them with the proper PPE to keep everyone safe.

At Assisted Living Made Simple we specialize in senior placement services. We believe that you should not take this journey of caregiving alone so we are here to help you every step of the way.

Photo by Vladimir Soares 

3 Signs That Aging in Place Isn’t Working Anymore

If your senior parents want to age in place, they’re not alone: Three out of four seniors prefer to stay in their home as long as possible.

However, what an aging parent wants and what they need isn’t necessarily the same thing. How can loved ones recognize when aging in place isn’t working out, and how can you convince a senior who is insistent on staying put that they need to move? If you’re concerned about an aging parent living at home, look out for these three signs that it’s no longer safe to age in place.

1. Getting around the house is becoming dangerous

Does it seem like your elderly parents are testing fate every time they walk through the house? Families have a lot of options for aging-in-place remodeling or downsizing to an age-friendly home, but if you’ve taken these steps and your parent is still struggling with mobility problems, it may be time for a much bigger downsize.

2. Your parent is growing confused and forgetful

Mobility isn’t the only factor that determines a senior’s ability to live at home. Cognitive impairment can also make home a dangerous place. Seniors with dementia may forget about food on a stovetop, fail to pay the heating bill in mid-winter, or wander away from home. While many seniors can continue to live at home in the early stages of cognitive decline, more help is needed as dementia progresses.

3. Your parents need help, but there’s no one to provide it.

This is a common problem for seniors with long-distance loved ones. While millions of seniors rely on unpaid family caregivers for help at home, those who can’t are faced with a hefty bill: Full-time home care costs over $4,000 a month on top of a senior’s other living costs.

How to Talk About Senior Living

Often, families recognize the need for help before a senior does. As a result, it’s up to loved ones to broach the senior living conversation. How can you do it sensitively and productively? These tips can help.

1. Understand the senior living options

It’s important to go into the senior living conversation informed so you can focus on the facts. Understand the types of senior living, including assisted living, independent living, memory care, and continuing care retirement communities. While independent living sounds appealing to many seniors, it may not provide enough hands-on care for your loved one. Independent living offers senior-friendly housing and amenities but not the caregiving services found in assisted living. Meanwhile, memory care facilities exclusively serve seniors with dementia, and continuing care communities provide a variety of care levels in one setting.

2. Don’t force the issue

It’s important to understand the options, but that doesn’t mean you should start the conversation talking about assisted living. Instead, discuss the challenges your senior parents are facing at home and how they can solve them. Use examples of other seniors who have hired help or moved to senior living to demonstrate how people you know are managing the challenges of aging.

3. Hear your loved one’s concerns

Even if a senior recognizes assisted living as the right choice, they may have fears about moving. Listen to their concerns and offer reassurance and solutions. For example, you could help find a pet-friendly community, hire a senior move manager to help downsize, or set up a regular time when the family will visit.

Senior Living Resources

To learn more about senior living, turn to these helpful resources:

Remember that the assisted living conversation may be a long one. It takes time for seniors set on aging in place to come to terms with accepting help. Start the conversation before it’s urgent so your senior parents can get the help they need when they need it.

Image via Unsplash

Don’t Panic Over Coronavirus!

Seniors should take precautions, but not panic.

Coronavirus has been front-page news for a while and we are told it is now starting to spread in the U.S.

Yes, it is a serious situation, it’s extremely important not to panic. It’s equally important to learn the facts and follow the recommended prevention tips to protect yourself and your senior family member.

Quick facts and prevention tips

Today. the risk of getting coronavirus in the U.S. is low. But if the illness does spread, seniors and people with chronic health conditions are at higher risk, just as they are with the flu.

To reduce the spread of disease, CDC recommends using common-sense prevention practices:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick, this may seem to be common sense but for some it is not. A mask does not protect others if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Where Can You Get Updates on Coronavirus?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely and is the best source of information about coronavirus. For the latest information and recommendations, visit the CDC’s Situation Summary page. And check the CDC’s quick tip sheet Share Facts, Not Fear for key coronavirus facts that put a stop to rumors and misinformation.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. In general, human coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that range from the common cold to more serious illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).COVID-19 is the name for a new virus that’s been spreading across the globe since late December 2019. It hadn’t previously been seen in humans.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

Similar to seasonal flu, COVID-19 is passed between people through coughing, sneezing, or close contact like touching or shaking hands. It can also be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth without washing hands. Hand washing is very important. Just like the flu, the virus spreads very easily, which makes it hard to contain, and easily contracted if exposed. The incubation period is between 2 and 14 days, so it can be spread by people with no symptoms.

Prevention

To protect from coronavirus, the CDC recommends the same methods that you’d use to protect against the flu or other common respiratory diseases.

Preventive measures include:

  • Have you gotten a flu shot
  • Washing hands often with soap, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the event soap and water is not available.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick. stay home.
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then immediately throwing the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, remote controls, phones, computers, and mobile devices.

CDC recommends considering “social distancing” for those at higher risk
People who are over the age of 60, pregnant, or on medications that weaken the immune system are at higher risk of infection and complications of infection. Someone who’s at higher risk should consider “social distancing

That means if there’s any reported risk of COVID-19 transmission in the local area, avoid large gatherings of people and public transportation (bus, subway, taxi, rideshare). In addition, keep a safe distance from other people.

What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?

Patients with COVID-19 have symptoms that are similar to other respiratory illnesses like colds or flu. Common symptoms include mild to severe symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that usually begin two to 14 days after exposure. Less comm is sore throat and diarrhea. Many patients with severe complications from the virus develop pneumonia in both lungs, particularly those with already weakened immune systems.

Seniors are at higher risk of complications and death

Seniors are more vulnerable because their immune systems are weaker due to age and may be made worse by frailty or chronic illnesses. This reduces the body’s ability to cope with and recover from illness.

Does the flu shot provide protection against coronavirus?

According to the CDCRespiratory Diseases, there’s no evidence that the flu or the vaccination for pneumonia will provide protection from the coronavirus. In spite of that infectious disease specialists strongly recommend flu vaccination as a way to prepare for coronavirus. For seniors, having both the flu shot and the pneumococcal vaccine can increase the chances of staying healthy.

Do face masks protect you?

Surgical masks are a common sight in areas with coronavirus outbreaks. But are they effective in protecting from infection? Experts say that they offer some protection. Currently, the CDC doesn’t recommend that people who are not sick wear a face mask, they should only be worn if a healthcare professional recommends it.

However, face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19. This helps prevent the spread of the disease to others. They should be worn by people who are taking care of someone who is sick.

Is there a coronavirus treatment?

Currently, there is no cure for coronavirus. Treatments to help patients heal or to relieve symptoms are already in clinical trials. Currently, researchers are focused on testing the existing antiviral drug Remdesivir and a combination of HIV and flu drugs.

The best treatment for coronavirus is prevention.

Disclaimer

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only about senior living topics. The information provided on this blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes. It is not intended to be medical advice.

 

Are You Bored?

Friends and laughter are great ways to destress

One of the biggest complaints we hear from seniors is, I am bored. How to combat boredom as we grow older is a growing challenge. We can only watch so much television. The weather in Florida makes it possible to enjoy many more activities than our neighbors to the north.

Spring holidays bring fun, seniors and their loved ones should make it a point to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Easter and the first day of spring. Whether it’s making a special meal, dressing up or going to festivals or community events, spring offers lots of opportunities for connection and getting out of the house.

Many older adults find gardening or just taking a walk is a perfect spring activity for those that like to be outside. If you are physically able to volunteer with a local organization such as an animal shelter, soup kitchen or boys and girls club, that is a great option.

Taking in a movie, reading or picking up a crafty hobby is also fun and will pass the time. Yesterday we saw a group of ladies playing cards in a local restaurant after they had lunch. Card or game clubs are a great way to meet people and keep the brain sharp!

There are many options for seniors in their community to get involved, stay busy and interact with others! Give the professionals at Assisted Living Made Simple a call if you need some guidance on what is going on in your Florida community!

Do You Have a Backup Plan?

If you are responsible for the day to day care of a friend or family member you know what a challenge it can be. Seeking help with caregiving is not a sign of weakness.  It means you care enough to put together the best care for your loved one.

At some point, everyone needs help, one of the best things you do as a caregiver is to get some help

Many caregivers have a hard time doing this. They feel that getting help means they are not living up to their duties or responsibilities or even promises made. 

As you struggle with these thoughts, it can be helpful to talk about your feelings with other caregivers in a support group or with a counselor.  The other issue which makes seeking outside help difficult is knowing what kind of help you need, where to locate reliable, trustworthy help and how to best use these resources.  

The caregiving journey can be tough and a care team can help. 

Your care team may consist of other family members, medical professionals, professional caregivers, church members and volunteers, neighbors and more.  

Here are some of the common questions (or concerns) we hear from caregivers about bringing professional caregivers into the home or even to visit loved ones in an assisted living facility when we cannot be there. 

How will my loved one adjust to having a stranger coming into their home?

Every individual reacts differently, but time and time again, we find family members are surprised by how well their loved one adjusts and benefits in ways they didn’t anticipate. For example, a new face means new conversations and experiences for them to enjoy!  

I worry that no one can provide the care I do.  I feel it might be more work to deal with problems, it is easier to do it myself.

No one can provide the care you do, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be a successful solution for both you and your loved one.  Ask any home care agency you are considering how they work with you to select appropriate home caregivers and how they prepare the caregivers to help your loved one.  Interview and get to know all potential caregivers so YOU are comfortable.

Things feel almost out of control for me as a caregiver when something unanticipated happens, I get a crisis call, or have to deal with sudden issues in the middle of work or other plans.

The unanticipated can be the most stressful part of caregiving.  A care team does not solve this problem but can provide you some support to ease things.  Having a relationship with a relief caregiver means that when you have emergencies or responsibilities that arise, you have someone to call.  Care team partners can be your backup and help you with conflicts.  A professional caregiver, family members, or community members can help with errands, taking a shift with your loved one at the hospital or visit them in their assisted living or nursing home when you cannot. 

 

Contact the professionals at Assisted Living Made Simple for more resources or more information on assisted living and other senior resources. 

How To Prevent Bedsores

How to Prevent Bed Sores?

If you are caring for anyone with limited or no mobility, being able to identify, treat, and knowing how to prevent bedsores is incredibly important.

Bedsores, also know as pressure ulcers/ sores, can progress into life-threatening infections very quickly and as a caregiver, we know how important it is for you and your loved one to avoid these at all costs.

When helping caregivers find an assisted living facility for their loved ones, some of them are on the verge of being bedridden or already are. One of the hardest things to witness when caring for a loved one who is immobile is the pain they have when it comes to bedsores.

In order to address the question, we want to help you in identifying them, knowing the different stages, the risk of developing them, and the steps you can take to prevent them from appearing.

What are bedsores?

Bedsores are also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, they are open wounds on the body where skin and tissue are breaking down because of prolonged pressure from bones.

Someone who spends most of their time lying or sitting in the same position has bones placing pressure on internal tissues. This cuts off blood circulation and leads to tissue damage and skin breakdown.

Common areas for a bed sore to appear:

  • Shoulder blades
  • Tailbone
  • Hips
  • Elbows
  • Heels

 What causes bedsores?

  1. Lack of movement – Any lack of movement over a long period of time, usually caused by a debilitating illness can cause a breakdown of the skin and bedsores.
  2. Old age – Elderly people have thinner, less elastic skin. The loss in skin strength in older adults who spend a lot of time sitting or lying down makes them more prone to bedsores.
  3. Inadequate nutrition – Many older adults have poor nutrition and lack of vital vitamins and minerals in their diet. This can escalate the problem of skin breakdown. Without proper nutrition, tissue cannot repair itself.
  4. Being underweight – Older folks often due to the poor nutrition mentioned above are underweight. The less fat and padding there is on the body, the more the bones protrude, and the easier it is to develop bedsores.
  5. Incontinence – Urine and feces from incontinence can make the tail bone and even hip areas more susceptible to skin breakdown. Bacteria can get into these areas and cause serious infection.

The 4 Bed Sores Stages you need to know about

Stages of Pressure ulcers

Stage I – Redness and discoloration of the skin at a bony pressure point is the first warning sign that a bedsore is developing.

Stage II – If not treated, it will continue to worsen and the skin breaks open and an ulcer forms. The area will feel tender and can be painful.

Stage III – A stage III bed sore forms a deep crater through skin and layers of tissue to the subcutaneous fat underneath. The less blood flow the area gets, the more tissue that decays and infection can set in.

Stage IV – The most serious of bedsores will progress so far that the ulcerous crater goes all the way down through the soft tissue to show bone.

If a bedsore gets to this stage the patient is at extremely high risk for infection and this is a life-threatening condition.

Common signs of developing bed sores:

  • Unusual changes in skin color or texture
  • Swelling
  • Pus-like draining
  • Skin that feels cooler or warmer to the touch than other areas
  • Tender areas

If you suspect bedsore or pressure ulcers, seek medical attention quickly.

A bedsore can develop and worsen significantly within just a few days.

Contact the professional Senior Advocates at Assisted Living Made Simple for information on a variety of senior topics.

5 Ways to prevent bedsores

  1. Reposition yourself regularly to avoid stress on the same area of the skin.
  2. Keep your skin clean and dry.
  3. Eat well and drink plenty of water.
  4. Manage your stress.
  5. Try to exercise daily.

Contact the professional Senior Advocates at Assisted Living Made Simple for information on a variety of senior topics.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only about senior living topics. The information provided on this blog is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes.

Preventing Pressure Ulcers

Dr. Madhuri Reddy, from the Harvard-affiliated Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston, wrote a wonderful letter on  https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Preventing_bedsores and I thought it very informative and worth sharing. This can help PREVENT pressure ulcers before they can begin to form.

Support surfaces. Support surfaces include mattresses and added padding that goes over them. There are several types of “dynamic” surfaces that mechanically change the pressure under the patient. Some work by alternating the air pressure in the mattress.

Expensive ($30,000 per bed) air-fluidized mattresses contain silicone-coated beads that liquefy when air is pumped through them. Almost all intensive-care unit beds are now equipped with dynamic surfaces. To the layperson, they don’t look any different, but you may hear a motor switching on and off.

Repositioning. Many bed sores prevention protocols recommend moving an immobile patient every two hours. The thinking is that if the patient can’t shift position, then the nursing staff should do it for him or her.

The few clinical trials that have examined repositioning don’t provide clear guidance on how often it should be done. Even so, Dr. Reddy believes that repositioning is probably one of the most effective means of pressure ulcer prevention: “We just need to find out which positions, and how often, is most effective.”

Nutrition. Some experts believe increasing a patient’s protein intake is the key to healing bed sores. Five nutrition studies were included in Dr. Reddy’s analysis. Only one found a nutritional supplement to be beneficial, but it was also the largest and best-designed study.

Skincare. Dry skin is a known risk factor for bedsores, probably because it creates friction. Three studies examined specific topical agents, but none evaluated a simple moisturizer.

So, what do we do? Dr. Reddy suggests the following:

  • If a loved one is in the hospital, and she can be moved safely, make sure she is repositioned often, even in the emergency room. Ask for pillows to help her lie in various positions. Keep the patient’s heels off the bed or stretcher, using pillows under the calf muscles. You want to minimize any pressure on the skin.
  • Keep an eye out for early-stage bedsores. Heels and the area around the buttocks are the “hot spots.” The skin will be red. Normally when you press on skin, it turns white. If a bedsore is forming, it will stay red. The skin may also feel warm and hard.
  • If you think you see a developing pressure ulcer, point it out to a nurse or doctor. Ask that a wound specialist be consulted.
  • Even if there’s no evidence of bedsores, make sure that preventive measures are being taken. Ask questions. Nursing-home administrators at long term care facilities are aware of the problem, partly because some homes have been sued for providing inadequate bedsore care.
  • Keep the skin moist because of friction and shear cause bedsores, not just pressure. Any inexpensive, odorless moisturizer should help.
  • Specialized foam and sheepskin overlays that go on top of the mattress are better than a mattress alone. Regular sheepskin is too thin; it should be Australian sheepskin or something equivalent.
  • The jury is still out on which nutrients, if any, might speed healing, but malnourishment is a common problem for older patients, with or without bedsores. Make sure your loved one is eating enough.