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She is 85, her skin is very thin, she is overweight with a bad knee. She spends most of her time sitting. Does anyone know of a way to help these sores? She is in a nursing home and the doctor did a circulation test which came back good. They have also had wound care look at her but nothing works. They hurt and are itchy. Her legs are also very red. It is strange, since she has good circulation.

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Hi millerteresa,

The other posters are absolutely right to be concerned. Pressure ulcers sound like the culprit here. They are a serious issue for older individuals who have thinner skin and spend a great deal of time sitting in a chair or wheelchair or lying in bed.

Scabies can also be a problem in long-term care facilities, but I would hope the nursing home would immediately recognize and address this since the parasitic mites can easily spread to other residents, their visitors and employees.

Regardless of the underlying cause, open sores render patients extremely vulnerable to infection. I would heed the other posters' advice and either seek another professional opinion or demand reevaluation and action from the nursing home staff as soon as possible.

Below are two articles to help you better determine what may be causing your mother's wounds. A bit of research and additional knowledge can also make it easier to stand your ground when it comes to speaking with doctors, nurses and other staff. (Some tend to listen a little bit better once they realize you know what you're talking about!)

What Caregivers Need to Know About Bed Sores
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/What-Caregivers-Need-to-Know-About-Bed-Sores-203147.htm

Scabies: A Common Occurrence in Extended-Care Facilities
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Scabies-A-Common-Occurrence-in-Extended-Care-Facilities-188246.htm

Good luck to you and your mother, millerteresa.
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When you say " nothing works", what has been tried? Patients who spend a great deal of time not moving needs air matresses that "float" the patients, an anti pressure cushion in her wheelchair seat, frequent repositioning, daily inspection of her skin, etc. What is the wound doctor's assessment of what these sores are? If s/he is not giving you a diagnosis, I'd get her to a hospital ER for a workup.

Skin breaks like these in the elderly can lead to cellulitis, sepsis and death. Please take this seriously.
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I would take her to a hospital and have another set of physicians take a look and opine.
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Good thought Pam, there could be lots of causes for the sores if they are not on pressure points. To have the doctor check her circulation (just how did he do that I wonder) and shrug his shoulders just smacks of incompetence. Whatever it is there is a cause, and it should be treated.
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Has she been checked for scabies or bed bugs of some kind? Check skin under folds of the belly and under the breast. If you see more of these sores, insist the MD prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal medication.
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I agree with cwillie. This is a BIG red flag issue. If it gets worse, the sores open and can become infected! (VERY bad news). This has to be addressed TODAY.

As we age, our skin becomes very thin and fragile. Skin care is very important, but staff in SNFs rarely have time for this. The rest of us can help protect our loved ones with hydrating skin lotion and making sure our loved ones are drinking fluids themselves. For what you describe, you need an assessment and professional treatment, likely some type of air mattress, sheep skin mats and special foot wear, repositioning and a prescription cream. I'd urge you to get on this project now.
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It sounds like pressure sores, they have nothing to do with her circulation but are related to her immobility and the only way to stop them is to remove the pressure. I question the competence of the nursing home staff, pressure sores are a red flag for lack of proper care.
There are various methods to take the pressure off, special cushions for her chair and making sure she move or is repositioned often being the most basic.
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