What Is Bedside Care?
Bedside care is a term that can be used to describe any type of nursing and care that goes on at the bedside of a bedbound or limited mobility patient. However, most often bedside care is given to seniors who are suffering from serious health problems or reaching the end of their life. Bedside care for the elderly generally encompasses everything that the patient needs from taking care of feeding to dealing with incontinence, to managing any other health issues. This can be a difficult but highly rewarding type of care that can be performed for your loved one. Family members and other close friends often step in to provide this type of care if possible. However, when family members cannot do the bedside care, professionals can be hired to take care of the patient’s needs.
Because this type of care can be so intense, it is important to keep in mind that there are certain things that can help to facilitate the care and make it more effective. These tips can help the caregiver be able to give the highest quality of bedside care for the senior in their life.
• Have the right bed – One of the most important aspects for effective bedside care is having the right bed. Many people choose to use a hospital type bed when they are giving bedside care. This can be advantageous since many times the person receiving the care has lost their strength and is unable to get up and down on their own. The hospital bed can be lowered and raised as needed. In addition, there are rails that can be put onto the hospital bed that will help to keep the patient from falling out or injuring themselves in some other way.
• Deal with the incontinence – Many times a patient who needs bedside care has become incontinent. This will entail the caregiver needing to deal with the toilet issues that surround the incontinence. While some patients can transfer from the bed to a nearby commode, many will need adult diapers to help them manage their incontinence. There are different types of adult diapers that are specially made for bedside care. These adult diapers are designed to facilitate easy changing on the part of the caregiver and the person receiving care. Adult diapers for bedside care and other incontinence supplies that are needed can be found on sites that offer adult incontinence products.
• Understand that there can be emotional changes – For some elderly patients knowing that they are bedbound can produce a strong emotional reaction. Some patients may become extremely agitated and upset. Sometimes this emotional agitation is so intense that medical intervention will be necessary. In addition, caregivers should understand that when patients are in this fragile emotional state they may try to get out of bed and have a fall. Awareness of this problem will be the key in making sure that it is managed effectively. Finally, if the problem is extremely severe the caregiver may need to use safety rails and even soft restraints to help the patient stay safe.
• Know how to safely feed the bedbound patient – The feeding of a bedbound patient will need to be carefully managed. There are certain tips that a caregiver should be aware of when it comes to feeding a bedbound patient. The patient will need to be correctly positioned in the bed in order to help them eat in the most effective way possible. Dietary needs and restrictions should be observed. Most bedbound patients do not have large appetites. Small amounts of well prepared food may be all that they need.