Caring for a bed-bound elderly loved one is challenging; however, some people choose to take on the challenge rather than send their family member to a nursing home. Before you take on the responsibility of caring for a bed-bound individual at home, you should find out what is involved. The work can be time consuming and you may be required to provide care around the clock. It will be emotionally taxing and may also be physically difficult. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind when taking care of a bed-bound family member:
- You Will Have To Carefully Choose And Equip Their Room Their room should be well ventilated and protected from temperature extremes. If they can only be moved with a wheelchair, the room should be easy to access. Easy access will also be important if they ever need emergency medical assistance. A first floor room is ideal so that it is not necessary to carry them upstairs. The room should have things for them to do while they are in it, like a TV or books. Also, make sure that they have a way to get your attention if they need your help.
- Their Medications Should Be Scheduled If the patient is taking medication, it will be necessary to make sure that they are taking it on time and in the correct doses. Many elderly patients have trouble remembering to take their medicine. If they have to eat before taking their medicine, make sure that their eating schedule allows for this.
- It Will Be Necessary To Equip The Bathroom Install handles on the tub to make getting them in and out easier. A seat in the bathtub can also make the process of bathing them a much simpler one. You should be able to find items like handles and seats (as well as other safety equipment) at a medical supply store. If they are completely unable to leave the bed, you should give them a sponge bath at least three times a week.
- You Should Learn How To Give A Sponge Bath Make sure that the room is very warm before starting the sponge bath. You should have a large supply of bath towels on hand along with washcloths. You will need two large containers of warm water, one for washing and the other for rinsing. Cover the bed with bath towels and undress the bed-bound person. Start washing at the shoulder and go down the side of the body. You may have to tilt them up slightly to be able to reach under them. Move to the lower torso and hips and then go down to the feet. Repeat the process on the other side.
- You Must Take Steps To Prevent Bedsores Also called pressure sores, these tend to occur as a result of prolonged pressure on the skin. They usually occur on the body parts where bone is close to the skin like on the elbows and heels. Bedridden people who are unable to change position are very prone to developing bedsores. If their skin is exposed to urine and feces for long periods, this can make the sores worse. Bedsores can be difficult to treat once they occur; however, they can be prevented by moving the bedridden individual at least once every 40 minutes. Also, look for any signs of redness or tenderness in the most susceptible areas when bathing them.