If you’re suffering from bedsores, you may be wondering why you got them and what you can do about it. Unfortunately, bedsores are not uncommon among older adults, particularly more sedentary ones, and are sometimes related to the quality of the care you may be receiving. Certain conditions, such as diabetes, lack of proper nutrition or circulatory issues could also put you at greater risk. To avoid bedsores in the future, it’s important to understand the various factors that can cause them.
- Constant Pressure
Bedsores usually develop when your blood supply is cut off in a certain area for more than a few hours. This then causes the skin to die and turn a dark red or purple. If left untreated, the skin could even break, and the spot could become infected and deepen all the way into the muscle and bone. One of the most common causes of this is constant pressure on a certain area that restricts the blood flow to the skin. Your tissues need essential nutrients, so cutting off the blood flow causes deprivation. Similarly, excessive friction from clothes or certain types of bedding could have the same effect.
- Low Mobility
As you may have guessed, constant pressure on one area is more likely to occur when you’re not moving around that much. As a result, low mobility is a prime risk factor for bedsores. Since our bodies need to move, people who are bedridden or confined to wheelchairs need to take extra precautions to prevent bedsores, sometimes relying on caregivers to ensure adequate daily movement.
- Poor Nutrition
As you get older, proper nutrition affects just about every aspect of your overall health. Getting enough vitamins and minerals but not overeating or consuming too many calories is key. When you avoid deficiencies and eat a wide range of healthy, fresh food, you boost your immune system and your general wellbeing. This can help you prevent a number of health conditions that could, later on, lead to bedsores.
Finally, it’s clear that age itself is simply a factor as well; older adults are more likely to suffer from bedsores simply because of their age. This is because the skin becomes more fragile as you get older, and less fat and muscle mass means there’s less of a cushion to prevent skin-bone friction. Additionally, you’re likely to be at risk for a number of other health conditions, which ends up increasing your risk for bedsores directly or indirectly. Because of this, older adults need to be particularly conscientious about getting enough movement, eating well, and treating underlying conditions. However, in certain circumstances, it’s possible for young people to get bedsores, too, so it’s always good to be vigilant about your health.
Bedsores are common among older adults and can often be frustrating, painful, and even debilitating. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to try to avoid them in the future. Keep these common bedsore causes in mind and you can help keep yourself as healthy as possible in the long run.