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A Bit About Bed Sores

During Mom's stay with us and after we medicated her for psychotic behavior due to Alzheimer's, she mostly stayed in bed. The medication flatlined any desire within her to get up much. She still could get around but she had little desire to do so.


I've observed with both Mom and Bob, that staying for long periods of time in bed can create a host of problems...

  1. Muscle atrophy,

  2. Chest congestion in the lungs and around the heart, and

  3. Pressure sores or, what we used to call, bed sores.


HCPLive.com lists the following as major complications with inactivity due to bedrest in aging patients...

Cardiovascular mortality, prostate cancer, and dementia are among the diseases and disorders linked to inactivity for geriatric adults... Ultimately, they found 24 systematic reviews and meta-analyses showing physically active older adults are a reduced risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, activities of daily living disability and functional limitation and cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer disease, and depression. READ MORE HERE

With Mom, I constantly battled against her weeping bedsores. I gave up on the ointments intended for bedsore treatment and got myself some good old-fashioned zinc oxide. Common brands of zinc oxide are Desitin, Remedy, A+D, and my favorite, Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Guess why I like BUTT Paste the best? "Oh, I don't know, Susan. Could it be the name?"


Anyway, you can get Butt Paste and the others in any drugstore and even some grocery stores. Many of the diaper rash and irritation creams can be found in the aisle for infant and toddler care. Sometimes you will find them in the health and beauty aids aisle.


Since about 2021, Bob has pretty much been bed-bound from lack of mobility issues. The dementia has all but numbed any voluntary activity that might spark an ignition between the brain and his muscles.


He can no longer sit up, stand, get out of bed, walk, or eat and drink on his own. He can walk and stand but only with help. Sometimes he can drink if I prop up his elbows, set a pillow on his stomach, and fix a container (with a straw) into his hands. Otherwise, he only lays in bed and watches TV.


Not only does aspirating on fluids, like his own spittle, drink, and food, cause bouts with pneumonia but also his inactivity. If he could sit up to help clear his throat, we might see these bouts of pneumonia reduced. I help him but I'm not up there with him 24/7 so if he chokes when I'm doing laundry or vacuuming, I won't know.


He has what doctors have diagnosed, "heart failure" because of a thoracic aortic aneurysm. So, the fact that he is also immobile compounds the problem.


So far, he hasn't exhibited any great increase in heart issues. I think the dang aneurysm is just biding its time for the soul purpose of scaring me.


What I do see, are these damnable pressure sores raising their ugly heads. But since my mom was so susceptible to them, I've been acutely aware and gunning for them.


Whenever his bum looks a little too red, I do a few things:

  1. I adjust his hospital bed to get him into a different position,

  2. I use a pillow under a hip to shift his weight into a different direction, and

  3. I slather gobs of Butt Paste on the high pressure areas.


The zinc oxide formulas work great so I won't move away from those types of creams. Still, switching up positions in bed throughout the day help great too. Just think about how often you get up or shift in your chair or the couch, or how many times a night you flip from side-to-side or onto your back. It's your body saying, "Change my position, please!" But people with Aphasia, like Bob, cannot communicate so I try to be extra observant.


But know this, not only do bums get pressure sores but also the head, shoulders, elbows and heels so be on the lookout for these areas too.


If you're caring for a loved one, I truly hope you don't have to deal with bed sores but if you do, jump on the problem fast before the problem gets out of control. Once a patient has a weepy sore, it's very difficult to heal simply because your loved one is bed-bound and unable to move or cannot communicate the problem to you. When you shower your loved one, do a full body check.


If I think of other issues I've dealt with successfully and unsuccessfully (when I've had to call in expert medical help), I'll post about it.


Which reminds me, we must talk about fungus next time. Until then...


God bless you all.

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Thank you for sharing these posts, and all the care information. I learn a lot from it. Through the effort you put in, I see you.

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Jo szcz
Jo szcz
Mar 08

Love the name of the ointment: Butt Paste LOL can't help but lol when you say it ... kind of like the ointment Udderly Smooth; which is for the chapped udders of cows but can also be used for those chapped areas on humans: under the breast, fat rolls, thigh rubbing sores etc. Hey if you're gonna name something, give it a name for what it works best on LOL!! Love you Cuz an am in prayer for you daily.

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