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3 Interventions That Help Reduce Pressure Ulcers

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If you have a loved one who is in an assisted living facility, you'll want to make sure that they are receiving the best care possible. While the nursing staff does their best to keep your family member safe and free from bed sores, there are a few things you can do to help augment their care. Here are three interventions that may help reduce the risk of pressure ulcers if your loved one is in a nursing facility:

Massage Therapy

Pressure ulcers often develop after undue pressure has been placed on a bony prominence. Older people living in assisted living facilities may forget to change positions frequently, and may subsequently develop pressure ulcers.

You can help enhance your loved one's circulation by offering a gentle massage every time you visit. Massage promotes blood flow, which decreases the risk for skin integrity alterations. If you are unable to provide massages because of infrequent visits, suggest that the resident change position every couple of hours and massage areas of pressure during the day to maintain optimal circulation to the skin. 

Encourage Fluids

The more hydrated you are, the less likely you are to experience skin breakdown. Encourage your loved one to drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids during the day, and when you visit, offer fluids throughout your stay. Dehydration can lead to poor skin integrity, which may raise the risk for pressure sores and abrasions.

If the assisted living resident is on a fluid restricted diet, talk to the health care provider to find out how much liquid the individual is allowed to have. People with certain medical conditions such as heart failure or edema should not overload on fluids, as this could exacerbate their conditions. 

High Protein Snacks

Nutritious, high protein snacks such as almonds help keep the skin healthy and more resistant to to pressure ulcers. High protein diets also helps heal existing skin wounds, and are often given to hospital patients who are suffering from bed sores.

If your loved one does not have an appetite for nuts or other foods rich in protein, you can buy liquid protein supplements at the grocery store. Check with the physician prior to offering additional protein because those with existing kidney problems may be on a protein restricted diets. 

If your family member is in an assisted living facility, such as All Care Hawaii, and you are concerned about pressure ulcers, speak to the administrator or nursing supervisor who can explain their skin integrity management programs.