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My grandmother is suffering from Stage 2 bed sores (inside her butt cheeks, right above her rectum). Her problem is that she sits in her recliner almost all day long. We get her to walk around and move as much as we can, but she's 92 years old so just a little bit of walking tires her out and she wants to sit again. I am looking at an alternating pressure mattress which seems to inflate and deflate at different times to move the pressure around while she sits. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and any other pressure relief chairs/chair mattresses. Also interested in any alternative solutions. We're worried about these sores worsening and getting seriously infected... Thanks in advance!

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Wondergel makes superb cushions that reduce pressure considerably - in my work with elders I recommended them to frail or vulnerable clients who sat a lot. It is not only made of a soft but still strong and comfortable gel, but there are air pockets throughout, so it does not get hot. The size fits neatly on a wheelchair, and if a person sat in bed a lot, I got the thinnest one, which is great and sells for about $55, and learned to position it under their tailbone and bottom. The new Fold n Go cushion also looks good, and has rounded edges, which is a very comfortable addition. These are so easy to use - often come with a cover, or it's easy to make a removable cover for them, out of a pillowcase. By now, the "donut" cushions have been discredited for many people, because the weight can pull the skin and stretch it, if they sit over the hole. And regular foam or cotton cushions don't provide the air or give that these Wondergel cushions do. Look on their website, or on Amazon, and read reviews - you can use them anywhere, but they are particularly helpful for seniors with mobility problems.
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Like someone mentioned before, the key is to prevent rather than treat bedsores. A person should be turned from one side to the other every 2 hours. We take for granted that when we are uncomfortable we can subconsciously move or turn to a more comfortable position... even in our sleep. You can only imagine being stuck in an uncomfortable position for 15min, much less even 2 hours, would drive most of us crazy. As an RN and paramedic, I can attest to how quickly bed sores can get out of hand so quickly and it's only an up-hill battle once they get into open sores, esp for those who have no care giving training at all. In reality, NO ONE should ever have bed sores. In fact, if a patient develops bedsores in a hospital, who didn't have them when they got admitted, the hospital fronts the bill for treatment (until bed sores are completely healed). Oh and implications on the nursing staff for allowing that to happen, is not pretty either. If you have access to the internet, then really there is NO GOOD EXCUSE for letting bedsores get past stage 2 (there are 4 stages). You can "google" almost any question you have about any subject, and there will be more than enough information and answers, pictures, advice columns, videos, etc. Medical personnel really look down on caregivers that allow bedsores to develop to stage 3 or 4 (into muscle and down to bone). There is a difference though, between bedsores and wounds, like so many diabetics develop, from their skin simply tearing open or skin that is so thin and frail, that even tape can tear it. Those thick double bed pads they use at the hospitals or nursing homes are the best for turning someone. Also Folding a flat sheet in half works well too. You only have to turn a person a few inches one way or another to do the trick. Using a pillow or rolled up towel/blanket to put under their back to keep them from rolling back over, helps too. And don't forget to pad between the legs with thin pillow or something, or where ever the boney parts are, like knees and heels. I would place a folded blanket under my patients ankles so their heels were slightly elevated off the stretcher pad, if they complained their heels were hurting. I'm not here to put anyone down, but i'm just being honest and trying to educate from a medical standpoint. Luckily, my 90 yo grandmother is still a walkie talkie (as medical persons like to call them). But hey, I have to at least give credit that you are at least asking. And if she qualifies for Medicaid, then a new bed should be provided, now on how quickly, that's another story. But there are resources out there. Used ones are sold online or Craigslist, even if you have to trade something to get it. The department for aging and disabilities services (DADS) is a resource you can call and get some referrals for help. Oh also maybe those round air pillows like a donut would work... since the sore area would be placed over the hole and nothing pressing against it. good luck. Cuz if you don't qualify for medicaid then then person has to have stage 3 bedsore before Medicare will pay.....sad but true. Nothing to prevent, only to treat once problem exists.
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Good cushion for all day is the Roho cushion. They make wheelchair cushion, mattresses etc.
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whats a very good cushion for chair to have a person sit in all day
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What is the best fabric for a lifting pad- for Hoyer lift? Patient is up in W/C for close to 8 hours a day and we need to order the right pad for him to sit on. We need whichever is the best for getting rid of creases and wrinkles under his skin.
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had the same problem with 91 year old mil. sore in same area . got a roho cushion and have had no more sores. dr. prescribed so medicare paid
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Bedsores are easier to prevent than to treat, but that doesn't mean the process is easy or uncomplicated. And wounds may still develop with consistent, appropriate preventive care.

Your doctor and other members of a care team can help develop a strategy that's appropriate whether it's personal care with at-home assistance or professional care in a hospital or residential setting.

Position changes are key to pressure sore prevention. These changes need to be frequent, repositioning needs to avoid stress on the skin, and body positions need to minimize the risk of pressure on vulnerable areas. Other strategies include skin care, regular skin inspections and good nutrition.
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You are on the right track with the alternating pressure mattress. That worked beautifully for my father. We bought him a Roho Cushion for his recliner. Same principle, air pockets that alternate pressure. The Roho Cushion is often used by paraplegics who are wheelchair bound to eliminate pressure sores. You can find them on line. They are not cheap, so be prepared to see a $400.00 price tag. You might be able to borrow a alternating pressure mattress from Hospice. We were able to do that for my dad. Be sure to use a good barrier cream. The extra thick Desitin works pretty good. Make sure there is not a fungus infection that will required an additional prescription cream. We use to prop my dad on his side at night too. We would use pillows and put another pillow between his knees. Best wishes.
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Try to keep her as dry as possible, Using creams instead of ointments work best. There are patches you can get which will help heal the wounds. Cleaning and keeping them aired is the best medicine. It's painful for them. We use topicort, neosporin cream and definitely use tons of depends and various other disposable underwear.
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My 80 year old Mother sits/sleeps in her chair every day. We get her up to walk (minimal-20 steps at the most) take her out, switch her from recliner to wheel chair and she does get one basic sore above the butt crack and every now and then in her butt cheek. She has a hospital bed which is basically an upgraded cot on wheels where the bars and springs poke through the mattress no matter what we've tried (we are on mattress number 3 right now). We are able to manage the sores thankfully, but if someone has any ideas to making the recliner more comfortable that would be helpful. (Note, supposedly NONE of the home health suppliers will provide a true hospital bed in the home! Supposedly our immediate supply has searched all over to no avail. Any suggestions! I put a full, fluffy blanked under the chair pad to help make it more comfortable, but it would be nice to have Mom sleeping in her bed every now and then.
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