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home | CareTips | Chairs Can Cause Pressure Sores, Too

Chairs Can Cause Pressure Sores, Too

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We tend to think about pressure ulcers ("bed sores") happening to someone who is confined to bed. These ugly and difficult-to-heal ulcers can happen to anyone who doesn't change position regularly, even if they are up during the day.

Especially prone to pressure ulcers are those who spend a lot of time in recliners or wheelchairs. Even small adjustments through the day will relieve pressure and permit good skin circulation.

If he can't or won't stand, it can be difficult to get someone to redistribute his weight while he is sitting. Moving the body from the waist up is rarely successful in moving the buttocks and lower spine, which is where so many pressure sores start.

Changing the amount of recline on a recliner chair rarely eliminates pressure on the coccyx (tailbone), so you will still want your elder to shift his weight from side to side.

Try putting a narrow folded sheet crosswise under under your elder so that the ends protrude on each side. Lift his weight slightly and pull this draw sheet a little to the left or right to redistribute his body weight slightly from one side to the other. Two hours later, move the draw sheet and his body the other way. It may take two people to do this successfully and safely.

Making sure your elder redistributes his weight regularly throughout the day is the most important thing you can do to help prevent pressure sores from developing.