Milestone One: Introduction and Background
Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores or pressure sores, are a common problem among elderly individuals in long-term care facilities. These ulcers develop as a result of prolonged pressure on the skin, typically in areas where bone is close to the skin, such as the hips, heels, and elbows. The vulnerable elderly population in long-term care settings, such as skilled nursing facilities, is particularly susceptible to pressure ulcers due to their impaired mobility, compromised skin integrity, and underlying health conditions.
This project aims to investigate how pressure ulcers affect the vulnerable elderly population in a long-term care facility, specifically focusing on the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home in New York City. By understanding the impact of pressure ulcers on the elderly in this setting, we can identify strategies for prevention and management that can ultimately improve the quality of life for these individuals.
The elderly population has been growing steadily, and it is estimated that by 2030, individuals aged 65 and older will make up approximately 20% of the US population (Whitney, Kelso, & Krishnan, 2019). With the increasing aging population, the prevalence of pressure ulcers is also expected to rise. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, the overall prevalence of pressure ulcers in long-term care facilities is around 15% (2019).
Pressure ulcers pose significant health risks for the elderly and can lead to physical and psychological complications, as well as increased healthcare costs. The healthcare costs associated with pressure ulcers are substantial, with estimated annual spending in the United States exceeding $11 billion (Whittemore et al., 2017). In addition, pressure ulcers can also contribute to an increased risk of infection, longer hospital stays, and decreased overall quality of life for the affected individuals.
The vulnerable elderly population in long-term care facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities, are especially at risk for developing pressure ulcers due to a variety of factors. These individuals often have impaired mobility, which limits their ability to change positions and relieve pressure on certain areas of the body. Additionally, the elderly may have compromised skin integrity due to aging, chronic illnesses, and medications, making their skin more susceptible to damage. Other contributing factors may include poor nutrition, sensory deficits, and urinary or bowel incontinence (Moore, 2018).
The Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home is a skilled nursing facility located in New York City that provides long-term care for elderly individuals who require skilled nursing services. The facility is home to a diverse population of seniors with varying health and mobility levels, making it an ideal setting for studying the impact of pressure ulcers on the vulnerable elderly.
This project will focus on answering the following research question:
How do pressure ulcers affect the vulnerable elderly population in the long-term care setting of the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home in New York City?
To achieve the desired outcome, this project aims to accomplish the following objectives:
1. Analyze the prevalence of pressure ulcers among the vulnerable elderly population in the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home.
2. Investigate the factors contributing to the development of pressure ulcers in this population.
3. Evaluate the impact of pressure ulcers on the physical and psychological well-being of the elderly residents.
4. Identify current prevention and management strategies employed by the facility and assess their effectiveness.
5. Propose recommendations for improving pressure ulcer prevention and management in the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home.
Significance and Justification:
Understanding the impact of pressure ulcers on the vulnerable elderly population is crucial for improving their overall quality of life and reducing the burden on healthcare systems. By conducting this project at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home, we can gather specific data relevant to the local population and provide recommendations tailored to their needs. Findings from this study can inform healthcare professionals and policymakers about effective strategies for the prevention, early detection, and management of pressure ulcers in long-term care facilities.
Moore, Z. (2018). Evidence-based prevention and management of pressure ulcers in the elderly: improving patient outcomes. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 13, 1149-1160.
National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. (2019). Facts about pressure ulcers. Retrieved from https://www.npuap.org/resources/educational-and-clinical-resources/npuap-pressure-ulcer-fact-sheet/
Whitney, J. D., Kelso, L. A., & Krishnan, S. (2019). Eldercare in the United States: current realities, future prospects. Frontiers in Public Health, 7, 196.
Whittemore, R., Merwin, E., Melkus, G., Grey, M., & Johnstone, B. (2017). Evidence-Based Diabetes Management in the Elderly. Diabetes Spectrum, 30(1), 45-50.