Pressure Sore Treatment in the Elderly: How Pressure Sores Affect the Quality of Life in the Elderly
Due to the fragile nature of ageing skin and the general delicate health of the elderly, pressure sores pose a huge threat to the well-being and quality of life of our elderly.
The best treatment for pressure sores in the elderly is prevention.
For those times when even with the best vigil, pressure sores still occur, treatment will depend on its’ stage / phase. The most important being to remove the source of pressure.
Treatment includes cleaning the affected area with warm (not hot) water and a mild soap; medication and protective coverings; practicing good hygiene; flushing the wound with a sterile solution to remove all loose, dead skin tissues;
A constant cleansing and changing of wound dressings; a special bed; Electrical Stimulation; long-term dressings, and as a last resort – Surgery – To close the wound, fill in the dead space and distribute pressure off the bone.
At best, pressure sores are irritating and discomforting. This can lead to a negative/ unpleasant quality of life for the affected elderly.
The effects of pressure sores include a partial or total breakdown of the affected skin area. This means sores on parts of the body. The deeper the sores, the greater its negative impact.
Some of the ways pressure sores cause a poor quality of life for the elderly include:
- Confinement to bed for the time it takes to heal the sores, causing a restriction in movement and daily activities.
- Acute pain and discomfort. This may lead to the affected elderly cutting off from everyone around them. And concentrating instead, on their suffering.
It’s hard to think about much else when you are in such pain!
- At its advanced stage, pressure sores look unsightly and give an unpleasant odour. This might lead to social segregation. Others may find it so disturbing that they cut off most means of contact with the affected elderly. Leading to loneliness.
- Financial Implications. Effective Pressure sore prevention and treatment has heavy financial implications. Costs which could reduce the monies available for other things like recreation…
- The constant threat to life. Pressure sore and pressure sore-related conditions, are a leading cause of death in the elderly.
All in all, pressure sore is not a matter to treat lightly. Especially considering the gross damage it could cause to the lives and emotional well-being of our elderly.