When your parent or other elder loved one lacks mobility, he or she may need additional care to prevent the formation of bedsores. Common in many nursing home environments, bedsores often develop when someone experiences prolonged pressure on part of the skin. Bedsores may prove uncomfortable, painful or even life-threatening, and while some heal with prompt and proper treatment, others never completely go away.

According to the Mayo Clinic, your loved one’s risk of developing bedsores increases when he or she spends the majority of time sitting down or lying in bed. If your loved one uses a wheelchair, bedsores may develop on his or her tailbone, backside, or along the backs of the arms and legs. If your loved one spends much of his or her time in bed, bedsores may develop on the head, shoulder blades, hip, lower back or heels, among other areas.

Symptoms associated with bedsores

If you suspect your loved one may have bedsores, keep an eye out for signs that might include swelling, pain or abnormal changes in skin color or texture. If a certain part of the body produces a bad odor or is a different temperature than the rest of the body, this may also indicate the presence of bedsores.

Complications associated with bedsores

In some cases, bedsores may cause complications, some of which may prove life-threatening. Sepsis, which develops as part of a body’s response to an infection, is one such complication. Cellulitis, which is a condition caused by an infection impacting the skin and soft tissue, is another. Bedsores that do not heal may also lead to squamous cell carcinoma, a particular form of cancer. They may also lead to the development of bone or joint infections, among other possible complications.