Pressure Ulcers in Elderly

Pressure ulcers continue to be a common health problem among elderly individuals and lead to a diminished quality of life. Sitting or lying in one position for too long usually causes pressure ulcers in the elderly or in immobile patients. Since elderly people have thinner skin, which is more vulnerable to damage from minor pressure, pressure ulcers can become a chronic problem. If an elderly individual is underweight, there will be less padding around their bones, putting them at a higher risk to develop pressure ulcers. There are three key treatments that will help heal pressure ulcers in the elderly. First, immediately relieve the pressure that is causing the pressure ulcers by redistributing the weight. Next, treat the pressure ulcer with either topical cream or antibiotics. Finally, improving an elder’s environment and conditions by providing adequate nutrition, hygiene, mobility, activity, and positioning can also help reduce and contribute to the healing process.

Another common issue among elderly patients with pressure ulcers is poor nutrition, which affects skin and blood vessel quality and ultimately results in less effective healing. Experts suggest that even if an elderly patient eats properly and is in relatively good health, healing is still much slower when compared to younger individuals. Elderly patients are more likely to develop to pressure ulcers primarily due to decreased mobility and poor nutrition.