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Caring for the Bedridden

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:21pm

Caring for the bedridden involves a lot of hard work, time and effort, which is why most people delegate the task to qualified nurses or nurse practitioners who come highly recommended from local hospitals or other healthcare settings. There are aspects to the task that only professional caregivers who are naturally endowed with the necessary patience and skills are able to satisfy.

When someone is confined to bed for a prolonged period of time because of an illness or a disability, the first thing that the person needs is compassion. They are at the mercy of someone for even the smallest things, so the nurse or caregiver in charge should take the effort to let them do things on their own as much as possible.

A sense of independence is most valuable to someone who is bedridden, so placing a table near the bed where ordinary things like a phone, newspapers, books, pens and pencils, writing materials, glasses, water and other necessities can be reached easily is of utmost importance.

Allow the patient to feed himself/herself if they are able to sit propped up in bed. Provide them with napkins and the required cutlery so that they are able to eat in comfort.

If the patient asks for a change of bed linen and sheets, accommodate their request without arguing that they were changed only that morning or recently. The comfort of the patient is most important when they’re constantly lying in bed.

Just because they are bedridden, there’s no need for them to look shabby. So help them dress well and look good even though they’re not going anywhere. A little makeup and a daily shave will do wonders for patients’ morale.

Provide them with some form of entertainment, books or television or papers, if they are able to sit up for some period of time.

Caregivers must ensure that they make quality time for themselves too in order to avoid burnout or job fatigue. A day off is the best way to recharge and rejuvenate so that you’re back and able to take care of the tasks at hand with the energy they deserve.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of Cruise Nursing . She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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