Decubitus Ulcer Risk Factors


If your senior loved one is in a nursing home, the staff will assess the individual's risk profile to determine if he or she is at a high risk for developing decubitus ulcers, or pressure sores. When risk factors are taken into consideration, a comprehensive preventative plan of care can be developed so that the senior's skin stays intact. Here are some risk factors that may predispose your aging loved one to decubitus ulcers, and which interventions that nursing staff will implement so that the resident's skin stays as healthy as possible:


Elderly people who are immobile or bedbound may be unable to change position. When constant pressure is placed upon a bony prominence such as the hip, spine, elbow, or ankle, the skin will start to break down. It is for this reason that the staff at the nursing home implements strict turning schedules for their bedbound residents. When the resident is turned as needed, circulation will remain optimal so that the skin remains intact.

Prolonged pressure over a bony prominence will initially cause redness, and then if the pressure is not relieved, skin excoriation will develop. This can progress to deep tissue damage, and if wound care is not implemented quickly, muscle and bone damage can occur. Fortunately, the staff will closely monitor your loved one to ensure that any redness is addressed and treated as soon as possible.


Bladder and bowel incontinence can also heighten the risk for decubitus ulcers. Urine and stool are extremely irritating to the delicate skin of the perineal area. It is crucial that incontinence episodes be recognized and addressed as soon as possible so that body fluids do not have a chance to damage your loved one's skin.

The nursing staff at the facility will make rounds on a regular basis to check for incontinence and will clean the elderly person quickly. In addition to keeping the perineal skin clean and dry, the staff may apply a barrier product such as petroleum jelly to the area so that if urine or stool seeps out in between changing times, it will be less likely to irritate the skin.

If your elderly loved one is in a nursing home and considered at high risk for skin breakdown, the healthcare staff will implement their wound prevention program to reduce the risk for decubitus ulcers and other skin problems. Also, the physician will be notified of any abnormalities or changes in the resident's skin condition so that the appropriate wound care treatment can be started.


14 June 2019

assisted living following a stroke

When my mom had a stroke, I knew that things were never going to be the same. We were very fortunate that she lived so close to the hospital and that the neighbor was there visiting when it happened, because the outcome is not as bad as it could have been. Unfortunately, she needed a lot of extra care while she worked to recover from the damage that was done. I found a wonderful assisted living facility to place her in to get the help that she needed. If you have a loved one that has recently experienced the same thing, my blog could be quite helpful for you.