Caring for a bed-bound patient or a loved one can only be truly understood by those who went through it or are doing it professionally. For the professionals, it’s one of the most demanding tasks with a thousand and one details to think about.
On the other hand, if the person in question is close to be the bedridden, things get even more complicated because, apart from paying attention to the above mentioned care aspects, there’s always the burden of watching someone you care go through the trying times.
That’s why in today’s post, we’ll explore some of the ways that could take “the edge off” and make things a bit easier.
- Keep up with the developments in the industry
A lot has changed in the technology used to make the lives of those affected easier, starting from the very terminology.
A good example of that is the recent change from “pressure ulcers” to “pressure injury.” While most people still stick with the former wording but, in the USA, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory (NPUAP) has announced the change in the terminology starting from April 2016.
While changes like these might only be important for the care-taking professionals, the changes in technology of Medical mattresses are probably more substantial for everybody involved.
Ranging from the differences in time cycles (for pressure alternating and low air-loss mattresses) to the changes in construction and materials used for the cells of Medical Mattresses are crucial for people facing being bed-bound for prolonged periods of time.
In other words, not all medical mattresses are created equal and choosing the right one is one of the most important aspect of proper care. Reliable brands like Vive and Drive Medical are still the golden standard of the medical air mattresses.
- Know the risks
Whether you’re hiring a professional to take care of your loved one (which is highly advisable whenever possible) or taking on the daunting task on your own, self-education about the risks involved is a must.
Understanding that the risks from developing a range of conditions dramatically increase might not be the most pleasant thing to do, there’s no way around it.
It’s not just about knowing for the sake of knowing, it’s about the steps you can take to lower the risks.
Some of the high-risk conditions are:
- above-mentioned pressure ulcers (injuries)
- infections (most common ones are those of the urinary track)
- contractures (muscle stiffening and hardening)
- joint and muscle pain
- psychological issues (like depression)
For more details on prevention you can read this post on patientsengage.com.
- Psychological issues – depression
Just as important as physical injury, Psychological Issues like depression are common among people facing such abrupt change in life-quality.
It’s common sense. The combination of suddenly not being able to do things that used to do with ease and being confined can put people on the fast track to developing anything from general anxiety a full-on clinical depression.
This aspect of personal well-being can greatly impact all other areas of the person’s life. That’s why we’ll spend a bit more time here and list some techniques that can offer a dynamics that can greatly lower the risks.
- Make sure that the person is not isolated and communicates with people as much as possible
- Do your best to make their space pleasing, both in terms of appearance and feel (lighting and air) and comfort (ties into the tip no. 1 about choosing the right mattress)
- Think about the dynamics of their days and establish routines that might offer them some kind of relaxation
- Try and put a positive spin on the situation. It’s not easy but developing a sense of humor about the whole situation is a good way to talk about everything that might be going through their mind (and would otherwise probably stay there).
- Exercise – no matter how small range of the motion is can make all the difference, if the medical practitioner give you a green light that is. This part doesn’t have to be about the exercise itself, it can be just means of avoiding the feeling of “decay” that can soon set on for those bound to a bed and space.
- Know the “red lines”
Finally, don’t take on more than you can handle. Times like these are trying for both the caregiver and the person being taken care of and it’s easy to tall into the “trap” of thinking that you can do it all on your own.
In the long run, it’s not smart to develop a feeling that the more you sacrifice for the person, the more love you’re showing.
Avoiding this common psychological pitfall is especially important if the expected recovery time is long. In the big picture, it’s more about crafting a healthy environment for your loved one than anything else.
It’s easy to confuse their recovery needs and those born from your need to show love through sacrificing your life.
It’s great to be dedicated and let them know they’re in not alone on the road of recovery, but it’s just as important planning the milestones of the road in a smart, educated way.
Image courtesy of [olovedog] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net