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He lost his grandmother - now he is on a mission to help others!
EDUCATION & ADVOCACY: Preventing pressure sores before they turn deadly
Good morning, KIRC family!
I would like to take this opportunity to share a consideration with you that you may have never thought about - pressure sores. Or - more commonly referred to as bed sores.
I know, I know. It is early, and this may not be a topic you want to even think about, especially first thing in the morning.
Today, we are truly KEEPING IT REAL. If you are a family caregiver, understanding everything you can about bed sores could literally be a matter of life or death for your loved one.
During my time caring for my mother, I had some experience with bed sores. At less than 100 pounds and frail, and no longer able to walk on her own, my mother was either sitting in her recliner, wheelchair, or lying in bed for the most part of each day. The appearance of a bed sore did not happen until Miss Nellie was no longer under my 24/7 watch, but rather in a care facility.
*Note: The facility in question did a good job of caring for my mother. I was a pain in their butts all the time, keeping a close watch and being a hands-on advocate. Even so, I could not be there all the time to provide the kind of care she had received at home.
The bulk of what little body weight she had, pressed her tailbone against surfaces. That caused the skin to chafe. That caused an open sore.
In addition to worrying, being afraid for my mother, and angry this happened, I also tried to learn what I could about bed sores. I asked my mother’s doctor how to prevent this from happening. I sought out products I had never heard of before. (Why don’t we see commercials for these items?)
Hospital-grade protective bandages (A nurse told me about this particular item, but only AFTER I saw nurses using them in the hospital. The information was not offered up in advance. I then ordered some for personal use.
Grandson Gerontologist on a Mission
I was fortunate to attend the 2023 American Society on Aging Conference earlier this year. It was there I met a fellow caregiver and advocate, featured in my latest article with Next Avenue, with excerpts below:
"It's challenging to be a gerontologist and also be a caregiver. It is one thing to study, but when it's in your backyard, it is a lot different than reading words." That realization motivates 39-year-old Israel Cross, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)…
…Choking up and almost coming to tears, he shared the pain and angst of having cared for and then losing his 87-year-old grandmother, Helen. She died in April 2020…
Cross says the pressure ulcers, which ultimately led to the increased decline, could have been avoided with a few simple routine safety procedures…
You can read the FULL ARTICLE HERE, and be sure to check out other KIRC articles published with Next Avenue.
Watch Our Video Interview
Watch more of his story to hear - in his own words - why he is using his professional training and personal angst, to seek solutions.
Take a few moments to watch our interview and/or read the CALL TO ACTION offered from LCDR Cross, about pressure sore prevention and education.
I can’t stress this enough - most of us don’t know what we are up against until we are already in a crisis when it comes to caregiving, and the MANY medical issues which can arise.
Take the time to educate yourselves in advance. Arm yourselves with information and tools to ensure your loved one is getting proper care.
I hope you find this information valuable. Keeping It REAL Caregiving is a one-woman information/news/support platform created as a result of my own caregiving journey during the final years of my mother’s life.
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Have a great & safe day,
Until Next Time~