It is common for patients who are elderly and bedridden to develop pressure sores. If you are a caregiver caring for an family member in this position, you know that the dressings that are used to treat these sores can be expensive. Below are some tips to help your wound care supplies last longer, which will help you save money.
Using Skin Barriers
Caring for the bedsores with a skin barrier before you apply the dressings will help them last longer between changing them out. Skin barriers are inexpensive, and can help improve the sore quicker by allowing the dressings to remain on the sore longer.
Make Hydrocolloid Dressings Last Longer
If the doctor prescribed hydrocolloid dressings for your family member, you can save money by ordering more than what you need. You can then cut them in half or quarters to make multiple dressings. This works well for small bedsores. Make sure the pieces are large enough to cover the entire wound.
Using Transparent Tape and Dressings
Applying transparent dressings over the hydrocolloid dressings will help them last longer. Paper tape can be used to secure the edges of the dressing to help them stay on longer.
Using Gauze Dressing
Your doctor may ask you to use gauze dressings for your family member instead of using hydrocolloid dressings. They can become expensive, however, because they may need to be changed frequently.
You can save money if you purchase the gauze dressing in large bulks from a medical supply store. Feminine pads can be used as an outer dressing to cover non-sterile wounds
Cleaning Sterile Wounds
If your family member has sterile wounds, talk with their doctor to see what sterile supplies you need to use, and how you should use them. It is very important that you follow the directions, because these wounds could become infected. Purchasing the supplies in bulk from a medical supply store can help you save money. The doctor may also know where you can find them less expensive.
Cleaning Non Sterile Wounds
In most cases, dressings need to be changed up to two times per week, and maybe more frequently due to the wound draining. To help them last longer, clean the sores with dry wipes or wash cloths before applying the dressing. If you are using sterile gloves, purchase them in bulk to save money.
Being a caregiver can take a lot out of you. Make sure you take care of yourself, and you will be a better caregiver for your elderly family member. If there is too much to handle on your own, consider working with a company like Handle With Care In-Home Care & Assistance to provide care for your loved one.