When a loved one is restrained to the bed, they will need proper hygiene, caring, and assistance. It’s not easy as it seems, caring for a bedridden patient is quite challenging, as it demands a great deal of understanding and patience from a caregiver’s side. First, as a caregiver, you have to learn how to care for someone who is entirely dependent on you for their daily care and personal hygiene. It is possible to develop stress, mood swings, anger, depression, and other physical and mental problems as they are adjusting to this lifestyle.
As a caregiver for your loved one you have to remember that, they are going through a lot of distress already and as a result of them accepting the situation, they may get frustrated and angry sometimes, or go through very bad mood swings. It’s you who have to help them adjust to this situation – both mentally and physically. Here are some helpful tips to consider when caring for a bedridden patient:
Keep Bed Linens Fresh and Clean
It is important to clean and change bed lines regularly, as this will help the patient feel clean and more comfortable and also it helps to prevent the risk of infection. This is essential because most of the patients do all the things from their bed such as eating and passing urine, and changing the linen regularly will keep the place clean and fresh.
Prevent Bed Sores
Bedsores (also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers) often happen to patients who are not in a state to move for a long time. Bedsores may appear on areas of the skin that are under pressure for a long time from sitting in a wheelchair, lying in bed, or even wearing tight shoes for a long time. If not cared for and prevented this properly it can lead to serious health injuries and infections. Thus, it is best recommended to change the patients’ position from time to time and check their pressure points are good to move. Hospital beds for bed sores are specially designed to prevent bed sores for people who spend much of their time lying in bed.
Maintain Personal Hygiene and Grooming
Good personal hygiene will keep the patient clean and prevent further health problems. In some cases, the patient may need a little assistance from their caregivers and in some cases, they may fully depend on a caregiver. It’s you who should have taken care of their health and good hygiene practices daily. In these times it will be good to understand how to learn how to properly give a bath, change their adult diaper, change their clothes and underwear, help them clean their teeth, comb their hair, trim their nails, and keep their beards and mustaches trimmed. You may want to look for ways that make them comfortable around you.
Ensure Good Nutrition
Bedridden patients usually require more proteins and calories to keep their health going. First, speak with the patient’s doctor or nurse to confirm what foods and nutrition they will need to include in their diet and how often they have to be fed. If the doctor allowed include more fruits and fluids in the patient’s diet. Keep them hydrated with water and other healthy drinks. It would be great to record their eating habits and meals as a reference for the doctor.
Empathize and Understand Patient’s Needs and Requests
If it feels like its hard for you to take care of a bedridden patient regularly, think how they would feel, it would be far more stressful for the patient to be adapting into a bedridden state and depending on someone for their daily personal needs. If you feel too difficult to handle a situation, just imagine yourself in their position and think how would you react to this situation and how would they help you. It will be good if you can talk with them more often, you can have a chit-chat with them, or discuss something positively and all. Even if they may not respond it will be good to share good stories, a little chat about their favorite film, book, person or you could tell them what’s happening around. Remember to make them feel special and make them feel that it will be alright.
Ask Help When You Need it
As a caregiver, you need to know when you need to seek help from a trained expert to properly care for your loved one. If you are able, hire a nurse with an RN-BSN Nursing Program experience or any other associate nursing degree professional to help you take care of your loved one. By finding a trusted healthcare provider, families can rest assured knowing that the patient will receive the most attention and care they need.
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