Bedside Care Basics
Beside care, in the simplest terms is support for bedridden individuals. This support should include physical support and emotional support. Let’s take a closer look at bedside care and what it entails:
When most people think of bedside care, the physical support such as proper nutrition, grooming, and hygiene are what come to mind. Bedridden individuals often need bathroom assistance, bathing assistance, and nutrition assistance. However, bedside care is far more than this.
The physical support of bedside care should include the following:
Comfort- Often a bedridden individual needs help moving to get comfortable, they may need you to massage sore muscles, or prop pillows. They may need the temperature adjusted, or socks put on their feet. Bedside care should address physical comfort of the bedridden individual.
Bathroom assistance- Because individual who are bedridden can not get to the bathroom on their own, products such as adult diapers, bed pads, and other absorbent products as well as skin care products may be needed.
Nutrition-Nutrition is critical to health, especially for seniors, and those who are ill, or bedridden while recovering. Unfortunately, over 2 million seniors are malnourished. This may be because they have limited access to food, and limited resources, but it may also be because they are simply getting the wrong foods. Bedside care includes meeting the nutritional needs of the individual for whom you care.
Bathing and grooming- Just because someone is bound to their bed does not mean that grooming is unimportant. Bathing and hygiene should be a top priority. Find the right tools and daily living resources, such as inflatable hair washers, no rinse body cleansers, and the like to help make life easier for the caregiver, and more sanitary for the bedridden individual. There are a number of products available to help fight odor, maintain cleanliness and promote hygiene for those that are bedridden.
Once the physical needs are met, the job is not over. In fact, much of bedside care is addressing the emotional needs of the individual. Offering emotional support can be as important as offering food and grooming.
Many who are bedridden feel frustration as a result of their total reliance on others. No one likes to feel helpless, or to feel like a burden to others. It is important that those offering bedside care offer opportunities for independence, even in small ways. This can be accomplished with the right tools and resources. For example, a BedCaddie, can help a bedridden individual to sit up on his or her own, or a Beam N Read can give them more freedom to do as they wish at night. When an individual can meet some of their needs on their own, it help with emotional stability.
Take time to talk with, and have fun with bedridden individuals so that they do not feel like a chore. Do not just talk about their maladies, but engage them in conversations on politics, entertainment, religion, or whatever else you are interested in.
When offering bedside care, remember that the level of care offered directly impacts the quality of life of the loved one requiring care.