Immobility, poor nutrition and hydration, multiple system co-morbidities and skin changes all increase the potential for an aging adult residing in your nursing facility to develop a pressure ulcer. Don’t forget to tap into those resources right at your fingertips. Ask yourself the following questions to assess your ulcer management in your facility. What are your current quality indicators showing about your skin care program? Does it rate an A or a B? Or, are you struggling with C, D and F? If you are in the lower category, have you involved your rehab team to help you solve this problem in your facility? Are you letting your rehab team know when you have a high-risk resident in your facility and include therapy in that plan of care to address their risk for pressure ulcers? All three disciplines can make an impact on pressure ulcer rates in your facility.

Stiffness of spine and extremities can also impact the risk of developing a pressure ulcer. Something as simple as improving trunk rotation can improve the ability of a resident to roll from side to side in bed to re-position. Physical therapists can address the immobility issues seen in your residents by focusing on bed mobility and positioning, transfers, range of motion and strength issues affecting an individual’s ability to reposition themselves in the bed and wheelchair.

An appropriately sized wheelchair and the right cushion can make a huge difference. Occupational therapists are skilled at determining the best seating system to use with your high-risk residents. They can evaluate the unique positioning and weight shifting capabilities that a resident has and develop a program to improve the positioning and ability to move in the wheelchair.

Well-hydrated skin with high albumin can impact the risk of developing a pressure ulcer. Speech therapists can address nutrition and hydration issues by evaluating swallowing and recommending appropriate swallowing techniques and diet changes to improve the nutrition of a resident. They can also develop cognitive strategies to assist the resident in remembering to re-position in the bed or wheelchair.  

Do you feel confident your rehab team can help you address pressure ulcers in your facility? If not, give Innovate Rehab & Wellness a call at (402) 682-6999 to discuss your unique needs and learn how Innovate can make a difference! Our team of expert clinicians can assist you in developing a program that will make a difference in your skin integrity program. An interdisciplinary approach will be the best defense against pressure ulcers in your facility and you will no longer be under pressure!

Under Pressure! – Managing Pressure Ulcer Treatments with Physical Therapy

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