Bedridden Patient Care: The Right Way to Take Care of Your Loved One

patient in bed

Due to aging, the elderly become much more prone to certain diseases and illnesses. The effects of the diagnosis can have a significant impact on the patient and their family and friends. Once they lose the ability to care for themselves, it becomes imperative for the family to learn the basics of bedridden patient care. One of the essential things that get neglected during this phase is the patient’s oral health. The caregiver must encourage the patient to visit a dentist if it’s too painful to prevent complications.

In most cases, a bedridden patient may find it difficult to perform simple bathing, hair brushing, shaving, and the like. In addition to this, their excessive time in bed also takes a toll on their mental health, making it extra challenging for caregivers to do their job. But what exactly should they do? Refer to the tips below.

talking to an old patientKeep them Company

Being in bed throughout the day can take a toll on someone’s mental health. Professional caregivers are trained to reduce signs of depression and keep the patient entertained. You can talk to them about almost everything.

For example, you could update them about the everyday news or your personal life. You can also accompany them while they are eating. That way, they will not feel alone and left behind because of their condition.

 

Promote Basic Hygiene

The most common problem of bedridden patients is caring for their hygiene. Essential hygiene practices tasks such as taking a bath, brushing their teeth, changing their clothes, and grooming are no longer easy for them.

If your loved one can’t bathe himself, you can help them sit on a shower chair and help them in scrubbing as well. And while you’re at it, ask them to do other necessary hygiene care like trimming their nails and toothbrushing while they are sitting.

Change the Bed Linens

Since the bedridden patient will be lying in bed throughout the day, it’s essential to ensure that their bed is clean and tidy. Dirty bedsheets accumulate stains, dust, and skin particles. Because of this, you will need to replace the pillowcases, blankets, and bed sheets frequently. Ideally, this should be done every two to three days.

Moreover, make sure that the new bed linens are appropriately washed and cleaned. Regularly changing the linens might lead to various skin problems like rashes, blisters, and dark patches.

Check for Bed Sores

One of the most critical parts of caregiving is ensuring that your bedridden loved one doesn’t get bedsores.  It can definitely cause pain and discomfort, as well as increasing the patient’s risk for infection. You can avoid bedsores by providing the patient with smooth and silk sheets.

If bedsores appear, you can prevent them from worsening by regularly applying moisturizers to the skin and keeping the patient hydrated. Be diligent in checking the common areas for pressure sores, including the ankles, hips, and tailbone.

Inspect their Chest

Because the patient is bedridden, there is a possibility that liquid will build up in their lungs. This is the common cause of pneumonia and congestion in bedridden patients.

In a case like this, change the patient’s position every two hours and switch their body from side to side.

Prioritize their Nutrition

A healthy diet can be the key to regaining the patient’s strength. It plays a vital role in keeping them healthy despite staying in bed all day and all night. The caregiver must provide nutritious meals and foods every day.

If the patient is a bit picky and does not want to eat what you prepared, ask them about their favorite foods to eat and work your way from there. Just make sure that everything you serve them is suitable for their health.

Clean the Environment

Caregiving is more than just helping a bedridden person. It’s not just about giving them food and cleaning their bedding. There is much more to home care than knowing how to take care of someone with physical impairment.

Caregivers are also responsible for ensuring that the patient’s environment is clean and comfortable. A clean and safe surrounding is essential in their recovery. Furthermore, you may opt to keep the room well-lit, allow it to have fresh air, and make sure that natural sunlight can come in.

Due to their mobility issues, it would also help if you place their favorite stuff or essential needs within their arm’s reach. For instance, put their books and phones beside their bed.

Encourage Them

bedridden patient care with nurseHome care can be quite challenging if the patient is not willing to improve themselves. This is particularly common in the elderly, where they do not want to attend their physical therapies or when they do not wish to have their dental visits. For instance, if they need to go to Sydney Laser Dental in Pyrmont for their dental checkup, they would make excuses to postpone it. You need to explain to them that they can still go back to their normal lives as long as they cooperate.

It isn’t easy to take care of a bedridden person. Even though it’s home care, taking care of a loved one can be draining at some point. There will be days where you will feel discouraged to help them with all your might. But what you need to know is that you can always ask for help.

Feel free to get your phone, contact the doctor, and ask for advice. If you are worried that the patient is suffering from physical pain and you’re not sure how to help, don’t pressure yourself.

In general, the objective of home care is focused on the comfort of the patient. It’s all about ensuring that they receive all the medical care they need, whether confined in the hospital or at home. Being attentive to their needs and keeping track of their progress are the most important things that a caregiver must prioritize.

 

 

References:

Tips On How To Care For Bedridden Elderly At Home (https://www.seniority.in/blog/tips-on-how-to-care-for-bedridden-elderly-at-home/)