Pressure reduction mattresses offer many benefits to a wide range of people, but have proven themselves of particular benefit to elderly patients, especially in a hospital or nursing home setting.
By far the biggest benefit of pressure reducing mattresses for the elderly patient is their capacity to help prevent pressure ulcers. Pressure reducing mattresses are designed to spread the weight of a patient over a larger surface area. This mechanism alone reduces the risk of pressure ulcers or bed sores.
Pressure reduction mattresses need to be used in conjunction with regular repositioning of the elderly patient to provide maximum benefit. Many elderly patients have reduced mobility and those who are bedridden for more than 15 hours a day are at particular risk of developing pressure ulcers. The right choice of pressure reduction mattress is essential for the elderly patient: the decision ideally should be make by a team of medical professionals with specific consideration to the patients needs. There are various types of pressure reducing mattresses available to the elderly patient, including those with a full mattress replacement system, an air mattress overly, an alternating air mattress or even foam cut memory foam, so choosing the right type of mattress is imperative.
Some types of pressure reduction mattresses feel like you are getting a massage as you feel the air being pumped into the various cells and then deflated. It makes sense that this type of mechanism would benefit circulation, particularly in less mobile, elderly patients. Other types of pressure reduction mattresses also benefit circulation through weight redistribution.
Pressure reduction mattresses are also beneficial in pain relief for those elderly patients with chronic back pain or spinal conditions. By choosing a mattress that moulds with the body and redistributes weight, the elderly patient is much more comfortable, reporting improvement in their level of pain and general well being.
The benefit of providing the right pressure reduction mattress is apparent to a whole range of patients, not just the elderly: Those patients with reduced mobility, obesity, recovering from surgery or experiencing poor circulation, also receive significant benefit from pressure reducing mattresses. However by far the largest demographic is the elderly patient, and the size of this demographic is set to increase. It is imperative both hospitals and nursing homes invest in pressure reducing mattresses to provide the highest standard of care and best practice to this group of patients.