Spotting the signs of pressure ulcers

Find out how to spot the signs of pressure ulcers in people with dementia.

Pressure ulcers and dementia
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If a person has red patches anywhere on their skin (especially over raised bony areas), and these stay red when pressed lightly with a finger, this may well be an early sign of pressure ulcers. Do not ignore these signs.

The area may also be painful, hard or hot to the touch.

Pressure ulcers may be more difficult to detect in people with darker skin. They may show up as patches, with a blue or purple tint, that do not go away.

If you help a person with dementia to wash or dress, always take a few moments to check their skin, especially around bony areas. Pressure ulcers are most likely to appear on the heels, ankles, knees, buttocks, hips, spine, elbows, shoulder blades and the back of the head.

If you think you have found a pressure ulcer, contact the GP as soon as possible and seek advice. It is important to act quickly, but not to feel that you are to blame.

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