3 Steps to Preventing Bedsores

Would you know a pressure sore if you saw one? As a person spends more time just sitting in a chair or lying on a bed, unable (or forgetting) to move about, the prolonged pressure of the bones against fragile skin increases, cutting off blood supply and risking tissue death, ruptures, and infection. Watch for a reddening spot, especially in places where the bones are naturally close to the skin (such as ankles, hips, and back) or where skin rubs against skin (buttocks).

To prevent:

  • Be sure to rearrange the body every half hour if in a chair, or every two hours in a bed.

  • Gently move vulnerable limbs, and insert or rearrange pillows around the limbs to protect them from rubbing against each other or the sides of a chair or bed.

  • Keep skin clean and dry. A thin layer of petroleum jelly covered by gauze can help to protect an early-stage sore, but if there's open skin, alert a doctor.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio