Elderly Lives Matter®

Can family members treat bedsores? 

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Bedsores

You have an elderly loved one in a nursing home, and you’re worried about them. You’ve recently realized that they are developing bedsores. These happen when people don’t change position often enough, so the skin dies and the tissue underneath can become damaged. These can be very painful and can even lead to deadly infections.

If you see evidence of bedsores, can you and other family members help to treat them? What steps should you take and how should you address these painful sores?

Mild bedsores

If the person just has mild bedsores, such as Stage One sores, soap and water can be used to wash the area. In some cases, a moisture barrier can be applied. This general cleaning, combined with helping the patient move to reduce the pressure on the injured skin, can allow that skin to heal.

However, if the bedsore is at Stage Two, then you may need to use a saline solution or salt water instead. There could be dead tissue that has come loose and has to be removed. It is best to do this with saltwater, saline solution or another specially-designed cleaner to reduce the odds of infection. 

Severe injuries

The above only helps with relatively minor injuries, however. With Stage Three or Stage Four bedsores, there can be severe damage to tissues like muscles, tendons, fat and even the bones underneath. These are very serious injuries and likely need to be treated by a medical professional, rather than family members.

Of course, this type of treatment can be very expensive. Family members need to know what options they may have to seek compensation if the nursing home staff was negligent in allowing the bedsores to form.

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