If you suffer from limited mobility and use a wheelchair, you are at high risk to develop pressure ulcers due to your body's position. Your risk is especially high if any part of your body has a lack of sensation, so paralysis sufferers must be very careful if they want to avoid dealing with a dangerous and unpleasant sore.
If you want to stay healthy, you can use a few of these prevention tips to keep pressure ulcers at bay
Make Sure Your Chair Is Skin-Safe
As you age, your body can change. Perhaps you sit with a different posture or you gain a little weight. While small changes seem like no big deal, they can fundamentally change how well your chair fits you specifically. If your chair is not customized to your exact needs, it could irritate the skin and begin to cause sores to form. For this reason, you should have your doctor check the fit of your chair twice a year and any time you gain or lose a significant amount of weight.
While having your chair fitted, ask your doctor about padding options. Sitting in your chair with no cushion is just asking for skin irritation, which can lead to deep sores over time. Foam pads and sheepskin covers are recommended for reducing friction in the chair. Donut pads and other irregularly shaped pillows should be avoided, as the unequal distribution of pressure can put added strain on your skin.
Spot Ulcers Before They Form
When it comes to ulcer prevention, you will likely already have a skincare routine with your caregiver. Another way you can keep from getting serious sores is to detect them as they begin to form. Your caregiver should check your entire body at least once per day for signs of skin distress, but you can also check on your own. If you are able to roll over in bed unassisted, this is the best time to feel for problem areas, since you may not be able to touch points of pressure while seated.
For parts of your body that you can see, be on the lookout for reddening skin, which may or may not be flaking. Feel questionable areas to see if the skin is hot and agitated, another obvious sign of distress. Spongy skin can also be a sign of an imminent sore, and small sore themselves should be taken very seriously, lest they develop into full ulcers.
Don't give up on your health just because you lack some mobility. Adhere diligently to your skincare routine and make sure to reposition often in your chair, or have your caregiver help you. With trained medical professionals at your side, you don't have to accept pressure ulcers as an inevitability. To learn more, contact a company like GENACTA Home Care with any questions you have.