Better care starts with safety and comfort.

Three Products Help Keep Your Immobile Residents Safe and Comfortable

By Greg Snoddy, Vice President, Healthcare Sales - Senior Living
September 2017

 

Residents experiencing immobility are at risk for many complications. These three products help keep your residents safe and comfortable while they rest.

Protect residents by proactively addressing immobility risks.

Maintaining resident safety is a major concern for every senior living facility, and avoiding preventable complications is essential. When residents become immobile, even temporarily, they require a new level of care to protect them from complications commonly related to immobility.  

Key aspects of safety for immobile residents include positioning, moisture management, and skin breakdown prevention. Pressure redistribution mattresses are a commonly used tool for protecting immobile patients, but we’ve identified three other important products that can help you keep your residents safe and comfortable.

Reposition residents to avoid skin breakdown.

Once a resident becomes immobile they are at risk for developing pressure ulcers. One solution for avoiding skin breakdown is regularly repositioning an immobile resident. This is made easier with a repositioner meant to assist senior care workers in safely repositioning residents as needed for medical care or pressure ulcer prevention

An optimal patient positioner will be manufactured with comfortable and breathable textiles and a thin profile. The thickness of a positioner matters; it’s imperative that it does not affect the pressure redistribution properties of therapeutic support surfaces your resident may be laying on. A thinner positioner can remain under the resident indefinitely without compromising skin integrity while still accommodating the heaviest portion of any resident's body to reduce the potential for shearing and friction.

Senior care underpads protect skin integrity.

Underpads are waterproof, absorbent pads that are placed beneath the resident on a bed, wheelchair or other surface to protect residents from complications due to incontinence. They help keep surfaces sanitary, protect bedding and furniture, and, most importantly, protect resident skin.

Select an underpad that is designed to wick moisture away from the skin as quickly as possible; this will help prevent the skin breakdown that occurs when moisture rests against the body. Resident comfort is still at stake when adding an underpad to their bed, so seek out underpads with laminated construction; this reduces the possibility of excess pressure on the skin and protects your resident from friction and skin shearing.

Semi-fitted top sheets improve resident safety and comfort.

Any senior living facility seeks to avoid an occurrence of pressure sores and pressure ulcers, which can result from excessive pressure on a bony prominence such as the heel, elbow or sacrum area. The skin of a resident whse health is compromised through poor circulation, poor nutrition, or dry, brittle skin can be severely damaged from too much pressure for too long of a period. Good nursing skills, which include proper positioning and frequent turning, can help.

One innovative linen solution that could reduce risk of pressure ulcer occurrences within your facility is the introduction of semi-fitted sheets that provide extra toe room and allow residents to easily change positions as needed. The extra room in the foot area helps prevent against too much pressure pushing down on the resident’s feet when the sheet is tucked under the mattress and has little room to stretch.

Striking the balance between keeping immobile residents safe and ensuring they are comfortable can be challenging. Let our team of senior living experts at Encompass Group help you select the best products for your facility’s needs. Call 1-800-245-4636 or email me today to discuss the products you need to increase safety and comfort at your senior living facility.

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For more information call Customer Service at 800-284-4540 or e-mail info@encompassgroup.net.