As you get older, it is normal for you to become more frail, especially if you are battling a terminal illness. This frailty means that you or those elderly loved ones you are taking care of will have a hard time with movement. Unfortunately, when you do not move your body enough and are constantly relegated to a chair or a bed, your skin can get severely irritated from the pressure. This irritation can develop into pressure sores, especially because seniors’ skin is sensitive and thinner. Not only can these pressure sores be painful, they can also turn to life-threatening infections. So, this article will provide you with a thorough overview of the best products for preventing pressure sores.
How can you prevent pressure sores?
The best way to ensure that you or your senior loved one does not develop a pressure sore is to move around throughout the day and not stay in one position for long periods of time. If possible, you should change position every one to two hours during both day and night. However, if you are the caregiver, you may not be able to make sure that the senior shifts their weight so often. And if you are the senior, it will be difficult to do this for yourself as well. Thankfully, there are products that can help.
Adding special cushions to the bed or a seat can help relieve pressure and prevent sores or other infections. Regular cushions are not useful for this purpose so it is good to invest in a product that is specifically designed to prevent pressure sores. If you are unsure about whether or not making this investment is worth it, you can always speak with a doctor or a member of your health team about this.
Products for the bed
Since a lot of seniors are confined to their beds, preventing pressure sores requires changing up the bed configuration. This can be done by introducing new cushions, mattress pads, bed toppers and overlays.
Therapedic® top loft gel fiber mattress pad
The Therapedic top loft gel fiber mattress pad provides a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface and fits mattresses up to 18-inches deep. The gel fiber is hand stuffed into 100% cotton pockets and each square yard includes 26 ounces of gel fiber. You can easily wash this product in the machine and sellers offer a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Other buyers have stated that this is a product that takes getting used to. At the beginning, it has firmer lumps of the gel in it which gets compressed through body weight. This means that the bad reforms to fit the user’s body and can even provide a bit of a cooling effect.
Memory Foam Solutions mattress pad bed topper
This Memory Foam Solutions mattress pad bed topper has options for queen, twin and king size mattresses. It is three inches in thickness and four pounds in density. It ensures that the mattress is more supportive and comfortable and that the bed conforms to your body. This product is made in the United States through an environmentally friendly process and reduces pressure points that can cause the sores.
Drive Medical air mattress overlay
The Drive Medical air mattress overlay allows for efficient air flow and is designed specifically to prevent and treat pressure ulcers. The overlay has air flow holes and not only cools but also reduces fluid build-up. The product also has adjustable bed straps, ensuring that the overlay does not move around. Since this is an air mattress, it does need to be blown up and may have to be replaced around the six month mark or earlier. Most buyers have left reviews stating that it helped them when they were bedridden after a surgery or due to other issues. However, a large portion of the reviewers also complained that the product can get leaks after several months.
Roho prodigy premium mattress overlay
This prodigy premium mattress overlay by Roho has been voted as number 1 non-powered overlay and contains exclusive dry-flotation technology. It promises no heat, noise or costly moving parts. The product manufacturers have designed this overlay specifically for the purposes of pressure sore prevention, pain management, and wound healing.
The overlay also offers three zone settings that can be customized independently of each other. The product requires no maintenance and is designed to conform to the user’s body, providing soft and deep tissue injury protection. Roho’s unique design ensures low surface tension, equal dispersion of pressure, and low friction or shearing that would lead to inhibiting blood flow.
Drive Medical med aire alternating pressure pump and pad system
The Drive Medical med aire alternating pressure pump and pad system has a pump that alternatively inflates and deflates 130 individual bubble air cells. The variable pressure setting on the pump ensures that this pad is extremely comfortable, durable, and provides superior therapeutic treatment. The pump also has built-in brackets so that it is easily mounted to the bed.
This product is specifically designed to prevent, treat or manage pressure ulcers by providing alternating pressure. The bubble cells are inflated or deflated every five minutes. You can keep this product plugged in for 24 hours a day to ensure that it fights pressure sores at all times. It can even be cut if you have glue to then reseal it and it does not need filters.
Medline alternating mattress
The Medline alternating pressure mattress allows for four alternating pressure cycle times. It ensures low friction and has anti-shear stretch covers. it stays inflated even during power outages, has a digital pump and comes with a quick connector that allows for easy setup and transport. This is a state-of-the-art product. It is affordable and basically maintenance-free. It can also be installed directly on the bed frame or on another mattress.
Jewell Nursing Solutions bedsore rescue cushions
Jewell Nursing Solutions offers customers the BackBone Turning Wedge or “The Bedsore Rescue Cushion.” This turning wedge cushion can be used in bed for supporting a person in a 30 degree lateral side position. This is the position recommended by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and is said to prevent pressure sores. This cushion conforms to and cradles the person’s natural curvatures and ensures it does not touch the sensitive sacral area. By doing so, the cushion lifts from the scapula and slightly curves away from the spine so that the person experiences even support and lift across the entire torso and hips. This way, the body is lifted off the mattress just enough to remove pressure and prevent sores.
Products for sitting
Other than the bed, seniors may often be relegated to a chair or a wheelchair. For this purpose, there are specific cushions that help to prevent pressure sores from sitting.
Drive Medical deluxe gel wheelchair cushion
The Drive Medical deluxe gel wheelchair cushion is a pressure redistributing cushion that is specifically designed to help seniors avoid pressure sores or to treat them. The gel insides are cased in a fire retardant foam shell that ensures optimal pressure redistribution and provides comfort and support. This cushion has a removable and replaceable cover that is water resistant and non-slip. The dimensions for this cushion are 18 x 16 x 3 inches.
Wondergel Original gel seat cushion
This seat cushion is engineered to provide ultimate comfort for the user by adjusting to the individual’s body shape and weight. Despite this, the cushion ensures that there is not permanent depression by immediately returning to the original shape. The cushion also remains cool while in use. This product provides immediate, continuous cushioning even when the user changes their position. The dimensions for this product are 16 x 18 x 1.25 inches.
Cushina memory foam seat cushion
The Cushina memory foam seat cushion is a non-slip, orthopedic product that is perfect for the office, car seats, regular chairs, etc. It provides relief from back, tailbone, coccyx and sciatica pain. The dimensions of this product are 14.17 x 17.91 x 2.76 inches and it is made using premium grade memory foam that supports the lower back and tailbone without ever flattening. The special U-cutaway in its design also relieves pressure.
The cushion stays put on all types of chairs and it is easy to remove, machine-washable, hypoallergenic, and dries quickly. The curved front design reduces pressure on lower thighs and ensures unrestricted blood flow. Graduated edges help position hips better so that you have a better posture and the strain on the spine is reduced.
As we age, movement can become a challenge. So, products such as the ones mentioned in this article can often become necessary in order to ensure that pressure sores are prevented or can heal properly. There are many more products on the market that you can take a look at. The important thing is that you invest in something that works best for you and helps you avoid future, more expensive issues.