Beware of sores in elderly people

The skin of the elderly is extremely fragile . It must always be kept clean, dry and hydrated, especially if it is chronic or elderly patients who, for various reasons, remain prostrate in bed . Your careful inspection is very important and should become a daily routine .

Occasionally, older people who have been immobilized for a long time present sores or pressure ulcers . These are lesions produced on the skin and soft tissues when they are kept compressed for a long time between a bony prominence and a hard surface . Ulcers can cause pain, infections and increased immobility. They usually cause serious difficulties for families to keep the elderly person at home and in some cases lead to death.

Factors that cause sores

  • Immobility : it is the main risk factor and can trigger thrombosis, fractures and very advanced dementias
  • Deficiencies in nutritional status , such as thinness, dehydration, anemia, or obesity, among others, as well as alterations in circulation
  • Decreased level of consciousness and incontinence of sphincters

Causes that cause sores

  • Pressure : it is the most important cause. Acts directly on Bony prominences and produces the occlusion of blood and lymphatic vessels, which causes decreased blood flow and tissue death. It is important to know that the light pressures applied for long periods of time are more harmful than the strong pressures applied in short periods.
  • Friction : is a tangential force applied on the skin when slide this one surface . Repeated friction over vulnerable bony prominences can cause erosions, ischemia and tears. It is common in patients who slide on the chair (involvement of the sacral area) or bedridden people who fall down to the foot of the bed because the head is too high (affectation of the heels).
  • Humidity : increase the degree of friction between surfaces and produces skin maceration and predisposition to ulcers . Sphincter incontinence is the most important cause of humidity.

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