It’s never too late in the year to make a new resolution. Why not make it your goal to prevent pressure ulcers in 2019? This very common condition facing wheelchair users is caused by prolonged pressure on a particular part of the body.
One of the first and most basic steps in preventing pressure ulcers is by shifting your weight regularly. This applies when you are in your chair, but also when you sleep. Make sure to change positions frequently during the night, sleep on a level surface in a comfortable position, and avoid wearing clothing the might bunch up and wrinkle under your body.
Bruises are not the main cause of pressure ulcers, but can worsen the condition or speed up the process. It is therefore very important to take care when transferring in and out of the wheelchair to avoid bruising your skin. Even when you’re transferring from the wheelchair to a surface of similar height, make sure to avoid the wheelchair tyre. Take the time to inspect your skin for any bruises on a daily basis and treat them immediately.
Caring for your skin
Pressure ulcers can be aggravated by moisture, including sweat, urine and faeces. It is important that wheelchair users take very good care of their skin by keeping it dry and avoiding any irritations.
“Too much or too little water content can quickly disturb the skin’s balance and lead to skin health problems. Preventative perineal skincare and good incontinence management are essential for good skin health,” explains Sebrena Sodalay, a brand consultant for TENA.
“The layers of our skin have a low pH and it is important that the products and care procedures we use do not disturb this natural pH. Healthcare professionals agree that consistent personal skincare is essential to control odour, maintain skin integrity and the well-being of incontinent individuals.”
If you are struggling with moisture and pH, it might be best to review the skincare products you are using. While these measures might seem tedious, a preventative approach is always better than trying to manage a pressure ulcer.