I just looked at a stack of photographs, of a client who suffered greatly from developing pressure ulcers all over his body which became infected, causing his death.
You really do not want to know what I am speaking of.
When we lose muscle, circulation decreases, our skin becomes more fragile and can break down. If we are left in one position, not moved, changed, etc., our skin can and will develop ulcers, open areas. These ulcers can become infected and truth be told, it is an awful sight.
If your loved one has any of the following, you need to make sure they are getting proper skin care, turning schedule etc:
- non ambulatory (can’t walk)
- weight loss
- unable to turn themselves
- bed bound
- wheelchair bound
Look at their body – check for wounds. Ask the nurses to show you the wounds or have you there when they are cleaned.
Too often we hear about people dying of infection (sepsis) and then, only then does a family realize their loved one had terrible wounds. There is no excuse for that, but you can also be an advocate and make sure your family is not counted in that group of surprised and devastated people who find out too late.