Caring for bedridden patients, whether they suffer from late-stage cancer, accident, chronic illness, age-related medical conditions, or disability, is no simple task. Providing the proper bedridden patient care can be overwhelming. Hence, the provider of such services should be skilled and compassionate. If your family member requires help from certified professionals, you can rely on Galaxy Home Care.
However, it won’t hurt to know how to take care of a bedridden patient at home, so keep reading to find valuable tips from caregivers.
What does A Bedridden Person Need?
Being bedridden means having trouble with mobility and lacking independence. Thus, a bedridden person requires professional aid from caregivers or family members familiar with the essentials of bed-bound patient care.
A physician or a hospice nurse consultation will inform you of multiple factors that complicate issues for seniors confined to bed. A properly made bed-bound patient care plan can prevent any complications.
Let’s start with the general needs of a bedridden elderly person and how you can help:
1. Good sleep and rest
- A quality mattress for body support to prevent bedsores.
- Pillows to prop up a senior’s head and to keep them from getting a crick in the neck.
- Sheets and blankets to stay warm.
- A bedpan or a urinal for comfortable toileting.
- A bed table for seniors who spend much time in bed.
- A schedule for medication, meals, dental care, and other needs so that even bedridden seniors have a decent routine.
- A timetable for physical therapy and exercises ensures that the elderly have some movement, even if it is simple range-of-motion exercises.
It requires much planning and effort to care for bedridden patients. For a thorough consultation and personalized approach, contact Galaxy Home Care if you need skilled nursing services at home in New York City, and other areas.
What are the Complications of Being Bedridden?
Another important aspect of how to care for a bedridden person at home is to consider all possible complications this person may have. According to Humanity & Inclusion, these are the most common complications of bedridden patients:
- Muscle shortness or weakness
- Stiff joints
- Blood circulation problems
- Pressure sores (bed ulcerations)
- Respiratory problems (lung infection)
- Sleeping issues
The consequences of the complications mentioned above can impair the process of recovery if left untreated, or even lead to new problems.
How to Care for Bedridden Elderly at Home?
Caring for bedridden elderly at home involves several aspects you should take care of:
- Good hygiene
- Good sleep
- Good nutrition
- Comfortable environment
- Patience and empathy
Here is the list of 6 tips on how to care for bedridden patients:
1. Personal Hygiene
An older person in bed requires help with keeping up their hygiene. Feeling fresh is important for physical and mental health. Quite often, confined patients (especially with dementia) are unable to bathe themselves. You can help them by:
- Bathing bedbound seniors with a sponge bath or a moist towel.
- Using a gentle, non-irritating soap.
- Using a shower chair.
- Using moisturizer and body powder for skin hydration.
- Trimming fingernails and toenails to avoid scratches.
- Regularly comb hair to remove tangles.
- Flossing and rinsing teeth twice a day.
- Changing linens every 2–3 days since they accumulate sweat, dead skin cells, and crumbs from food.
Another aspect of how to care for a bedridden elderly at home is changing their diapers. Moreover, the diaper-changing procedure is a crucial part of personal hygiene. The products we recommend having at hand:
- Medical gloves
- A pack of clean diapers (preferably super absorbent adult diapers)
- Pre-moistened wipes
- A diaper rash cream
- A waterproof mattress protector
2. Restful Sleep
The biggest concern of bedridden patients is bedsores. Bedsores or pressure sores are injuries that occur if too much pressure is applied to the same area for a long time. Pressure sores put pressure on parts of the body, such as legs and thighs, and eventually, it results in skin breakdown, which causes disturbed sleep, and in worse cases, shortens life expectancy.
However, bedsores are preventable. Consider using these tips:
- Reposition a bed-bound patient every few hours.
- Consult a doctor or a nurse for the best way to reposition a patient so as not to cause any injuries.
- Check the heels, hips, and tailbone for pressure sores to determine their appearance sooner.
3. Ensure Good Nutrition
Balanced nutrition and a healthy diet are essential components of elderly care. Be sure to follow these instructions:
- Keep a record of the person’s dietary needs — their eating habits and preferences.
- Get a diet chart created by a skilled nutritionist.
- Cater to the needs of physiology – small snacks are better than large meals.
- Ensure that the patient stays hydrated.
4. Ensure a Comfortable Environment
A messy environment has a negative impact on seniors’ mental and emotional health. To decrease discomfort and minimize difficulties with breathing, sneezing, and itching, follow these tips:
- Make the room airy and spacious.
- Get plenty of natural light into the room.
- Ensure the room is well-lit.
- De-clutter the passage to the bathroom.
- Keep the nightstand close to the bed to make an alarm, phone, or book easily accessible.
- Remove clutter from the floor.
5. Ensure Engagement with Bedridden Patients
Loneliness is yet another challenge for the bedbound senior. It is highly recommended to show that bedridden patients are valued and cared for.
- Spend time talking or reading to them.
- Play board games or do coloring books.
- Relieve stress with coloring books.
- Listen to the radio or podcasts.
6. Show Patience and Empathy
Looking after the bedfast relative is hard. Hence, losing patience because of overwhelming duties is inevitable. Here are some ideas on handling complicated situations:
- Try to understand that any medication may cause anxiety and lead to stress.
- Find time to communicate feelings to reach common ground.
- Be ready for things to take longer than expected. Routine tasks are time-consuming, thus, require more energy. Do not rush so as not to hurt a bedridden person.
- Be aware of signs of fatigue and understand how to limit them.
Need assistance or a consultation on how to care for a bedridden elderly person at home from a registered nurse? Contact Galaxy Home Care, and we will provide all the needed information and assistance regarding bedridden patients in New York.
Are You Looking for Someone to Care for Bedridden Patients?
How do you care for a bedridden elderly at home? You can do it yourself or contact Galaxy Home Care to receive skilled nursing in Nassau, or other areas. Our professional caregivers will create a bed-bound patient care plan regarding every need of a person. You can rely on Galaxy Home Care when your family member needs help from a registered nurse.
And if you still have any questions, feel free to fill out our contact form, so our team members can get in touch with you and provide additional guidelines on how to care for a bedridden elderly at home.