A loved one survived hospitalization and is now on bed rest. This is a huge stress for him and his family. The usual way of life is destroyed, and many find themselves at a loss in the face of a new reality. What needs to be taken care of? In the article, we have listed the features of home care for bedridden patients that you can focus on before looking for Nassau County home care services.
What you can do by yourself
Treatment and rehabilitation are the responsibility of the doctor and medical staff. In order not to disturb a relative with constant transport to the hospital, hire a caregiver/nurse for procedures that can be performed at home. Unprofessional medical interventions are a big risk.
What is up to family members or helpers? Daily life, hygiene, organization of leisure, and prevention of complications in a bedridden patient. Below we will talk specifically about the household side, which you can maintain on your own.
If possible, move the patient to a separate spacious, and bright room so that he is not disturbed by noise.
Ergonomics in the room must be considered from the very beginning.
- Access. It is more convenient to approach the patient’s bed from all sides.
- Safety. You will need bumpers or limiters so that the patient does not accidentally fall.
- Minimalism. Only the necessary furniture should be in the room.
- Convenience. Auxiliary tools and means should be at hand.
- Cleaning. Avoid carpets and potential dust collectors. It is better to replace fabric curtains with roller blinds, which are easier to wash.
- Air. It is important to keep a stable temperature regime of 18-21° C. If the patient sweats or freezes, this can provoke complications. It is also necessary to ventilate the room several times a day.
- Connection. How will the patient call you for help? It can be a simple cell phone, a wireless doorbell, an ordinary bell, or a baby monitor.
- Leisure. If a relative likes TV shows or radio, it should be convenient for him to watch or listen.
There are a lot of available inventions that make it easier to care for bedridden patients. The most popular are functional beds, wheelchairs, anti-decubitus mattresses, orthopedic pillows and bolsters, and compression underwear. Personal hygiene products are also useful: inflatable bathtubs, diapers, urine bags, wet wipes, etc.
Rehabilitation equipment can be bought in stores, found by hand through ads, or rented. There are nursing equipment rental services in every major city.
It is useful for a bedridden patient and his family to have a clear schedule. This is a guarantee of the psychological comfort of a sick relative, the prevention of diseases, and overwork.
The schedule also helps the caregiver. According to the schedule, it is convenient to give medicines, carry out the necessary hygiene procedures, massage and exercise therapy, and plan cleaning and airing of the room.
You can create a schedule manually, in an Excel spreadsheet, or download any convenient scheduler application to your smartphone. As a basis, you can take the schedule of a medical hospital, including daytime sleep, gymnastics, a change of clothes, scheduled visits to the doctor, time for leisure, and other necessary things.
The diet of bedridden patients differs from the menu of the whole family. The energy consumption of bedridden people is less, and because of immobility, the intestines work worse. The usual three meals a day is not suitable, as it is important not to overload the patient’s stomach.
It’s reasonable to eat 5-6 times per day for a patient. As a rule, poorly digestible foods, smoked meats, fatty, fried, spicy, and salty foods are excluded. Food is cooked in liquid, ground, and puree form, and it must be warm. A detailed nutrition plan will be given by the attending physician.
Most likely, you will have to master the skills of feeding bedridden patients. The most important thing is that food can only be taken in a semi-sitting position.
Personal hygiene and clothing
Hygiene care is the most important aspect of maintaining the health of a bedridden patient. Irritations that turn into sores and ulcers are often provoked by accumulated sweat or even crumbs on the bed, which a person is not able to clean himself.
Mandatory procedures to be mastered:
- rubbing and cleansing of the skin, including all-natural folds;
- washing eyes, ears, and nose;
- cleaning teeth and oral cavity;
- washing head;
- cutting nails;
- washing and changing diapers;
- the skin care, prevention of dryness;
- prevention and treatment of bedsores;
- dressing the patient and changing bed linen.
Nurses in a medical institution can show the basics of care. You can also invite a specialist to your home.
Сhanging the patient’s position
Another mandatory skill is the ability to correctly and without injuries turn over, shift and transplant a bedridden patient. Every day you need to change the position of his body so that bedsores do not appear.
And in any case, situations will arise when a relative will have to be moved outside the home. If transportation on your own is problematic, look for services for the transportation of bedridden and disabled people in your city.
Brain disorders are often triggered by the fact of aging. Old people are forgetful, they lose the ability to soberly analyze and perceive new information. If this is observed against the background of illness and immobility, then the risk of depressive disorders increases.
Pay attention to a relative, do not leave him alone for a long time, and be indulgent to whims. Conversations and involvement in family life help the patient to keep himself in a good mood.
If, despite your efforts, there are no positive changes in the mood of a relative, seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Depression is common among old people and can be treated.
Caring for a bedridden patient requires a tremendous emotional and physical return. When a family member takes over, he does not always soberly correlate new responsibilities with the burden of the main ones. He needs to take care of the rest of the family, work, and take care of the household. It is almost impossible to pull everything at once alone. It is wise to invite a nurse to help.
To avoid worsening the patient’s condition and avoid burnout, it makes sense to find a good nurse. Use the services of Galaxy Home Care. This company helps you to find a reliable caregiver taking into account the psychological compatibility of the nurse and the patient. This allows you to find not only an experienced assistant but also a good companion for a loved one.