When seniors are primarily confined to bed, they need a lot more care than those who are still able to be fairly mobile and active. The first thing to know about caring for a bedridden loved one is that it involves all aspects of daily life and a variety of important needs. As you prepare to provide this type of care for a senior loved one, here are some things to keep in mind.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Bedridden seniors often need help with regular hygiene-related tasks. You may need to find acceptable and convenient ways to tend to these needs. Sponge baths may suffice on days when a regular bath or shower isn’t necessary or easy to accomplish without some assistance from another caregiver. Hygiene care for bedridden seniors also typically involves:
• Brushing teeth or cleaning dentures
• Trimming nails
• Washing and brushing hair
Helping a loved one with hygiene needs can be challenging for some family caregivers to accomplish on their own. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, Prescott Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Take Care of Toileting or Diaper Changes
Bedridden seniors often need help with bathroom-related needs, which may involve using a bell or other signaling device to let their caregivers know when they need help getting to the bathroom. Some bedridden seniors wear diapers instead to make handling toileting needs easier. If this is the case, periodically check throughout the day to see if your loved one’s diaper needs changing, especially if he or she isn’t able to verbalize this need. When diaper changes are done, clean and dry sensitive spots thoroughly to prevent irritation and infection.
Make Sure Nutritional Needs Are Met
Help your bedridden loved one get proper nutrition by encouraging healthy snacking between regular meals. Also, talk to your loved one’s doctor about more specific nutritional needs, which may mean keeping a record of your loved one’s eating patterns so any nutritional deficiencies or unhealthy eating habits can be addressed. Additionally, ensure your loved one has easy access to water and other non-sugary beverages.
If you find it challenging to prepare nutritious meals and snacks for your parent, consider enlisting the support of a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Prescott, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Maintain Comfort & Keep Your Loved One Entertained
Home care for a bedridden senior also includes meeting his or her general comfort and entertainment needs. Pay attention to the placement of pillows, the arrangement of sheets and blankets, and the general support of your parent’s body. It can also be healthy and helpful to open windows on nice days to let fresh air in. Entertainment needs can be met by providing a TV with an easily accessible remote and regularly supplying books and magazines. Handheld games, crossword puzzles, and lap trays that can be used to play games and do other activities may also be helpful.
Bedsores are caused by pressure placed on certain parts of the body from remaining in the same position for too long. These pressure sores could become infected or contribute to other serious complications in bedridden seniors. Minimize this issue for your loved one by:
• Adjusting his or her position every few hours
• Placing pillows around certain parts of the body that tend to rub together, like ankles and knees
• Regularly checking for signs of bedsores in common spots (e.g., legs, hips, heels, and the lower spine area around the tailbone)
Issues such as bedsores can be especially problematic for bedbound seniors, who may be more susceptible to infection because of diminished immune function. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care service. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (928) 771-0105 today.