Having an elderly person at home who is bed ridden is a huge responsibility and it can be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally.The most important thing when caring for a bedridden elderly person is to be loving. Don’t be angry or impatient; they need your help just as you did once upon a time. Spend time with them, talk to them and show them they matter to you.
So here are some things one can do to make life easier and more comfortable for both the care giver and the care receiver.
1 . Give Them A Room With A View
Being stranded in bed is an unwanted situation, & if the elderly can look outside to some activity, trees, birds and people, it helps keep depression away. Keep curtains & windows open, fresh air and sunlight have restorative powers that will help a bedridden person. Also set up a television set for entertainment.
2 . Invest In A Good Bed
This is an expense but a simple sturdy single bed, with a headboard , is essential to be able to care for a person who is bed ridden. This allows the patient to be attended to easily, to sit up straight or to be transported from the bed. Ensure that a bed table is used for meals and the mattress has a mackintosh cover (rubber cover) in case of accidents.
3 . Opt For A Physiotherapy Routine
A huge problem for those who are bed ridden is loss of muscle strength. Have a routine of simple exercises, flexes and stretches to keep the muscles from deteriorating. Invest in a walker or wheelchair as required, to be able to move the person around.You can get help from trained physiotherapists to assist and guide them better.
4 . Install A Bell
Install a bell or buzzer by the bedside so that the elderly person may be able to summon help if required. A word of caution, some elders may buzz incessantly, but sometimes it’s just for company, or out of sheer boredom, understand that and be patient and gentle in such dealings.
5 . Check For Bed Sores
The painful side effect of frail skin and bed friction called bed sores develop in areas such as the back, arms, back of thighs. Always have ointments and salves to soothe these sores which can get infected and lead to worse troubles.Make sure you keep changing their posture regularly to help avoid bed sores
6 . Ensure Their Hygiene
Sponge baths, dry shampoos, cotton clothes, soft bed sheets and covers are all a must to ensure optimal hygiene. These are just essential to keep further infections at bay. Keep people who have colds and coughs away from a bedridden person, these simple ailments are hard for weak bodies to overcome.
7 . Give Them Company Of The Young
Elders love their grandchildren. Younger ones in the family spending time with them, discussing the school activities, taking their suggestions on minor issues will go a long way in keeping the elderly in high spirits.
8 . Have A Supply Of Adult Diapers
Nothing makes a parent feel more embarrassed than excretory accidents, but age does lead to loss of control over bladder functions, one may not always have enough time to transport a bed ridden person to the bathroom, diapers at night or in the absence of a company, do have their benefits.
9 . Find A Doctor Nearby
Do have a doctor who is familiar with the case history on speed dial, find a hospital that is close by and that you and the bedridden elderly are comfortable with. One never knows when complications arise. Keep all medicines at hand and do not miss any doses.
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Having someone at home who needs a lot of your time and energy is exhausting. Think of how much harder it is for the once vital person to be lying in bed and being unable to move. Tender loving care from our parents is what we received when we were helpless babies and now it’s your turn.So go ahead and give them the love and respect that they rightfully deserve. Because, what goes around, comes around!