Tag-Archive for » best advice for caregivers of the bedridden «

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 | Author:

It is very difficult to watch your parents, grandparents, or any other loved one end up bedridden due to an illness or old age.

When that happens, the important thing you have to understand is that there are lots of ways in which you can help make their lives easier and show them how much you care.

It is fundamental that they don’t think they are a burden, and that they feel loved, understood, and capable of having a good quality of life even if they have to remain in bed permanently.

To help you do this, here we give you 5 in-home care tips that will show your loved one how much you care:

1. Comfort

Comfort is crucial for bedridden people. There is nothing worse than to feel uncomfortable, aching, and unable to rest when you are not able to move by yourself, so make sure your loved one always has the right support for his/her back and joints.

2. Cleanliness

No person can feel well if he/she is not clean, and this gets even worse if they are bedridden.

It is vital to bathe and groom your loved one every day, just as they would do if they could move. Something this simple does wonders for the person’s self-esteem.

Equally, you should change the bedding daily and make sure the room is clean. A nice, clean room with good ventilation, temperature, and illumination is crucial for a bedridden person’s wellbeing. Remember that this is their world now.

3. Records

It is very important that you keep clear and thorough records of the person’s appetite, bowel movements, body temperature, pulse, and breathing, to have them ready in case the doctor needs this information promptly.

4. Skin care

When bedridden, a person is prone to getting bedsores and skin ulcers on the areas that are under constant pressure. It starts with the skin becoming tender and painful, ‘till finally the infected sores burst.

The way to avoid bedsores is to always maintain the skin dry and very clean, to smooth out the bed sheets constantly, and to change the person’s position at least every two hours.

Yes… this can be a daunting task, but don’t despair… there is help. Make sure you get a pressure mattress, which has a mechanism that moves the person from one side to the other at regular intervals, ensuring the skin is well protected from excess pressure.

5. Blood circulation

The inactivity a bedridden person suffers makes him/her vulnerable to blood clotting. This happens when blood merges in the veins forming blood clots that can travel along the bloodstream to important organs. It can cause strokes and even death.

Make sure your loved one is massaged and moved regularly to stimulate blood circulation in the body and that he/she takes proper medication that can help with this condition if necessary.

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Sunday, July 24th, 2011 | Author:

There are people who have decided to devote their lives to taking care of people who are bedridden. These people are professional caregivers… but there is also the common person that ends up being a caregiver to a loved one due to age or illness.

Care giving is such a difficult task that even professionals, at one point or another, feel insecure and wonder if they are doing the right thing. If this is so, imagine how the common person can feel when presented with the task of taking care of another person’s necessities 24/7.

Eventually almost all caregivers, professionals or not, end up asking themselves why it is that they are doing what they are doing, and the time comes to put things in perspective.

Here are 3 good pieces of advice to help you cope with becoming a caregiver:

1. Surround yourself with successful caregivers

In business, they teach you that if you want to be successful you should surround yourself with successful people, well… this applies to care giving too.

There are support and educational groups for caregivers, where you can get training, information, ideas, and tips from caring people who understand what you’re going through.

You can research support programs and agencies that specialize in bedridden care. The key is to surround yourself with professionals that can help you manage your feelings and needs.

2. Gain confidence in yourself

And how do you do that? Well… By educating yourself on what you are doing.

If you’re caring for an Alzheimer’s patient you have to know how this disease is diagnosed and treated, and the same goes for caring for a person who has had a serious accident that has left him/her paralyzed. Both patients are bedridden, but their conditions are very different and so, require different care.

There are many way to get educated:

- You can find national organizations that relate to your loved one’s condition. These will have accurate information about that specific condition and about local programs related to it.

- You can search the Internet, but be careful and make sure you find reliable sources.

- You can go to a research hospital. Find out if that institution can give you relevant information on new treatments and if they happen to be working with patients such as yours.

A big part of gaining confidence in one’s ability, no matter what you do, is to pretend you’re confident. It has been proven that when you pretend you’re confident, after a while you become sure of yourself.

Tell yourself, again and again, that you are doing it right. Look in the mirror and repeat out loud, “You know what you’re doing, and you’re doing great”. You can repeat any encouraging phrase that resonates with you.

3. Use positive affirmations

Most caregivers at one point ask themselves why they are doing what they’re doing. When this time comes, it is important that you remind yourself why you’re changing diapers, adjusting a bariatric mattress, and bathing and feeding a bedridden person.

We recommend you make a sign that reads, “I love my wife/son/grandfather/mother/father/daughter” and put it where you can see it regularly.

Is bathing the person the hardest part? Then put the sign in the bathroom.

Is it cleaning his/her bedsores? Then put the sign in front of the medicine cabinet so that you can read it every time you go get the medication.

Is it moving the person regularly to make sure the skin remains healthy? Well… a pressure mattress can free you from this burden; just get the right one!

Just remind yourself every day that you deeply love that person that needs you so much now. It may work to place an old picture of your loved one or the family smiling near your bed … love brings about miracles, and after all, what better care can your loved one receive than in-home care?

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Thursday, June 30th, 2011 | Author:

Being bedridden comes with a range of physical and emotional difficulties – not the least being that the patient is more susceptible to developing bedsores.

Bedsores can greatly increase a bedridden patient’s pain and discomfort, as well as being a great source of misery during the time and treatment needed to heal them.

One good thing, however, is that bedsores are preventable. One of the most effective ways to do this is via the use of a low air loss mattress. Here are five great ways a bedridden patient can benefit from using one:

1. Pressure relief

Low air loss mattresses are inflatable mattresses comprised of air-filled cells. They are designed in a way to reduce constant pressure being placed on the body of a patient when lying down on it. Instead, this pressure is well distributed so that bedsores – also known as pressure sores – do not form. This pressure relief is also a benefit for patients with existing sores which need healing.

2. Prevents moisture build-up

Bedsores are more likely to develop on weakened areas of skin. Areas that are constantly exposed to moisture can become easily damaged and, therefore, weakened. Low air loss mattresses provide a constant airstream circulation between the mattress and the patient’s skin. This stream prevents moisture and humidity from building up, e.g., from sweat. It also means the skin’s temperature can be kept at a constant level – again preventing perspiration.

3. Comfort

Since low air loss mattresses are inflatable and made up of air cells, many patients find it to be a far more comfortable alternative to a normal hospital or domestic mattress. A priority for any bedridden patient, especially those with existing sores, is maintaining a feeling of comfort. Low air loss mattresses offer this important element to a patient – almost helping them feel as if they are sleeping on a bed of air.

4. Portable

If a bedridden patient needs to have frequent hospital visits or even desires to stay at a different location on occasions, one benefit of a low air loss mattress is that it is portable. The mattress can be deflated for travel and then re-inflated again when needed. Most will fit easily onto an existing bed frame. Many bedridden patients appreciate this convenience.

If you are considering investing in a good low air loss mattress for a bedridden patient, find a store that is reputable at selling reliable and effective mattress systems. One good option is Volkner.com. Here you’ll find low air loss mattresses which have a unique feature called the Volkner System. This special system is a turning system which means the patient is gently turned every 4, 5 or 6 minutes, as preferred, so that they don’t have to be moved manually to prevent them becoming uncomfortable in bed, and also as an extra measure against the development of bedsores. Visit the website to also view other mattresses such as the alternating pressure mattress and bariatric mattress which are also effective products for the prevention of bedsores and for the comfort of the bedridden patient.

If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention www.volkner.com as the original source).

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