6 Essentials to Remember When Taking Care of the Bedridden

Posted in the Spinal Cord Injuries Forum

Since: Apr 10

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#1 Aug 23, 2010
When taking care of a bedridden loved-one, itís sometimes hard to imagine how they are feeling because of their confinement, illness and disabilities. As a care-giver, youíll want to do the best job possible to cater to their physical and emotional wellbeing. But at times you may find there is so much to think about, itís easy to neglect some of their most basic needs. If you become a care-giver to a bedridden loved-one, here are 6 essential areas itís important to focus on:

1. Physical care
Consult a healthcare provider to learn about the best possible practical care you can provide to the bedridden. One vital task will be to encourage your loved-one to move their limbs to prevent frozen joints, immobility and blood clots, and to stimulate healthy nerve responses. You might need to move your loved-oneís limbs for them if they are unable to do so on their own. Also, change their position every two hours to prevent bedsores caused by continuous pressure on the skin.

2. Nutrition
Good nutrition is important for the bedridden. This encompasses a well-balanced diet that promotes their well-being. Ensure they have enough fiber so that unnecessary discomforts such as constipation do not occur. A good amount of fruit and vegetables are essential, too, so that your loved-one receives good nutrients to support their health and healing. Give them small, frequent meals - rather than single large ones - and make sure the patient is properly positioned when eating to avoid choking.

3. Hygiene
Prevent unnecessary infections developing through good hygiene care. Brush your loved-oneís teeth and floss their gums, wash their body daily and try to give them baths at least every other day, change incontinence garments frequently if they are being used, keep nails short and try to prevent sweat from building up in areas that are prone.

4. Specific medical problems
Have frequent consultations with a healthcare professional and become well-informed about your loved-oneís specific medical problems. Look for any changes related to their condition. Be organized and make sure you give your loved-one their medications at the right time. You might even choose to join a support group related to their illness to help you access information and support related to your care-giving.

5. Psychological support and understanding
Your loved-one will need you to be understanding about their psychological state too. They may become depressed because of their condition or feel frustrated and hopeless. Try and cater to your loved-ones emotional needs. For example, if you know having flowers in the room or playing music may lift their mood, make the effort to please them with these things. Allow your loved-one to express their wishes about your care-giving so they feel they have some control over their situation. Offer yourself as someone to talk to and reassure them with your love and compassion.

6. The right equipment aids
Invest in good products to keep your loved-one feeling as comfortable as possible and make their day easier, e.g., hygiene, dressing and bath aids. Since they will be in bed most of the time, itís important that they have a bed and pillows that are supportive. Also, consider a pressure mattress to help prevent distressing bedsores.

If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. Theyíll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (donít forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source).

Rachel Clarkson
Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of ďThe Volkner Turning MattressĒ: http://www.Volkner.com

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