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My mom is starting to form bedsores. She is not bedridden, but is basically transported from the bed, to the wheelchair to her couch and she is starting to get sores on her lower back and heels of her feet.


Any tips on how to prevent them? I know about the turning every 2 hours, but she spends a lot of hours sitting on the couch where it is not possible to turn her.

thank you all for these suggestions. Yes we are applying the zinc cream.
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Reply to Miamimom79
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I had a friend who became paralyzed from a back injury. She was in a wheelchair most of the time. They wrapped her feet in lambs wool and elbows. Anywhere where pressure points were.

I would not care for open sores unless I knew what to do. It really should be done by a nurse trained in woundcare. Even if she came out 1x to show you how to do it. These can become serious especially with someone who has diabetes. There are things that need to be looked for, like dying tissue.

There are Roho cushions for wheel chairs.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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There are alternating pressure overlays that can be placed on her sofa but you might need to alter her routine for a while and keep her completely off those areas, when I realized my mom had stage one pressure areas on her hip it took more than 2 weeks of ensuring she never rested on her right side (her favourite sleeping position) before she was back to normal, and when she began to develop an area on her coccyx in the NH they kept her in bed until it healed.
I know there are also special booties designed to protect the heels.
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Reply to cwillie
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I haven't read any of the material on this site re bed sores, owing to the fact that it is no longer material to me. But I would recommend that you give this the highest possible priority.

I took care of my very close friend for about 7 months of in-home hospice care. I was constantly reading and studying about her condition (end-stage COPD + severe aortic stenosis) and worked out of number of tricks and techniques to keep her going longer than anyone could have expected. The hospice nurse said that she was the most emaciated case she had seen. But she was still eating and drinking and was mostly lucid.

What did her in was a bedsore that started as a little dot at the tailbone (coccyx).

Once it opened up it grew like a sinkhole and no treatment could slow it down.

At the end it was the diameter of a softball - so bad that I couldn't look without cringing.

The reason I am writing this is that the hospice people never told me that this was a likely outcome, and irreversible. At one point a CNA gave me a couple packets of zinc-based lubricant to tide me over til the next shipment of moisturizing lotion, and when I read on the package that it was useful for the prevention of bed sores, I was shocked. Why weren't we doing this on day 1? (I think they expected she wouldn't last that long)

Anyway, had I known bed sores could be this deadly, I would have done my usual thing, which is to read every bit of science under the sun in order to understand the subject inside and out. But, too late.

I also would have purchased those supporting wedges that you see in the NH's. Even if regular pillows positioned strategically would have been good enough.

This is just my experience, but it was real, and deadly. When you say that turning her isn't possible because of her sitting on the couch for hours, well, it might be a matter of life and death.

So you need to try harder. Good luck.
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Reply to ZeeFan
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She needs to change positions every 2 hours. That is the best way to avoid them. Maybe have her put her feet up or recline, maybe a lay down.

Make sure that she is getting plenty of protein and keep things as cushioned as possible.

Keeping the areas clean, dried and moisturized can help.

See her doctor to help you know what to look for and how to keep her as sore free as possible.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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