Bedbound seniors require special care to make sure all their needs are met when they cannot get up and move around on their own. While some seniors are bedbound temporarily due to an illness or injury, others may be confined to bed for most of the day on a long-term basis. Either way, these strategies can help you provide the best possible care to your senior loved one when he or she depends on you most.
1. Set Up a Comfortable Environment
Once you know your loved one will be confined to the bed, you may need to completely rearrange the main living area. Ideally, the bed should be located as close as possible to the bathroom or other water source so you can easily perform tasks such as washing your hands and helping with personal hygiene. Your loved one may also prefer to have items—such as eyeglasses, a phone, and the television remote—placed near the bed on the nightstand. As you set up the room, make sure there’s plenty of space for you and another caregiver to maneuver around the bed as you provide care.
2. Stay on Top of Personal Hygiene and Sanitation
When seniors spend most of the day in bed, personal hygiene and sanitation become extra important to keep them comfortable. For instance, your loved one’s sheets may need to be changed about every two to three days and even more often if food spills or accidents occur. Your loved one’s nails may also need to be trimmed, especially if an illness or injury leads to itching that could cause him or her to scratch and lead to an infection.
3. Focus on Bedsore Prevention
Bedsores are a serious issue for anyone who is bedbound. The good news is they’re entirely preventable with only a few added steps to your daily routine. Since bedsores are caused by pressure being placed on parts of the body for long periods, all you need to do is make sure your loved one is repositioned every couple of hours. If your loved one can move independently, encourage him or her to shift positions every hour or two. If your loved one needs help, talk to the physician about how to reposition him or her in a way that doesn’t cause further discomfort.
Helping a loved one change positions regularly 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 home care services, Kingwood Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
4. Plan for Proper Nutrition
Being confined to a bed means your loved one cannot burn off calories as well as an active senior, and the lack of movement could lead to a decreased appetite. For this reason, you need to plan meals packed with nutrition and low in fat. You may also need to serve your loved one several extra snacks or smaller meals to make up for the appetite loss.
Busy family caregivers who don’t have the time to shop for nutritious foods should think about 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. Kingwood, TX, 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.
5. Get Assistance with Lifting
Your role as the caregiver of a parent who is bedbound places you at risk for injuries. Learn how to lift your loved one properly to perform tasks such as changing the bed sheets or moving him or her to a wheelchair. If lifting is too difficult to do on your own, recruit the assistance of another caregiver so you preserve your back and shoulders.
Skin tears and other conditions can be especially problematic for bedbound seniors, who may be more susceptible to infections 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 manage if their families opt for professional elderly home care. Kingwood families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call one of Home Care Assistance’s dedicated Care Managers today at 832-412-1345 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.