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Caring Effectively for a Bedridden Elderly Parent

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It’s essential that certain interventions be considered when caring for a senior who is bedbound. Elderly people who spend prolonged periods in bed face many physical and psychological challenges. Fortunately, there are some effective strategies you can follow so your bedbound aging parent can live a healthier and happier life.

Perform Frequent Body Checks

When you give your loved one a bed bath, make sure you perform a body check. Bedbound individuals are at high risk for developing skin breakdown, bruises, skin tears, and dry skin. If you notice any of these dermal conditions, call the doctor right away. The doctor may prescribe an appropriate treatment over the phone. However, if the problem sounds serious, such as a deep decubitus ulcer or stasis ulcer, you may be advised to take your loved one to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Purchase a Pressure-Relieving Mattress

Skin breakdown and bedsores can quickly develop in aging adults who are unable to change positions when confined to the bed. When undue pressure is exerted on the hips, back, elbows, ankles, and heels, the skin will eventually turn red, and if interventions aren’t quickly implemented, the skin may start to break down. To reduce the risk of skin issues and keep your loved one comfortable, purchase a pressure-relieving mattress, such as a medical air mattress or foam mattress. However, even if your loved one has a pressure-relieving mattress, he or she may still need to be turned periodically.

Helping a bedbound loved one sit up or turn over 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 at-home care, Santa Rosa Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

Offer Protein-Rich Foods

Aging adults who are bedbound because of chronic illness may need to increase their protein intake. Protein is especially important if your loved one has pressure sores, stasis ulcers, skin tears, or excoriated areas in the perianal area as a result of urinary and fecal incontinence. Protein-rich foods promote healing of skin conditions and may boost energy levels in debilitated seniors. While increasing your parent’s protein intake may have health benefits, check with his or her physician. Consuming too much protein may be contraindicated when renal problems are present. 

Busy family caregivers who find it challenging to prepare nutritious meals 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. Santa Rosa, CA, 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.

Encourage Vitamin C Intake

People who are unable to get out of bed may develop immunity problems and be at increased risk for infections. Offer your loved one citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, as well as green leafy vegetables. If your loved one is unable to eat vitamin C-rich foods because of digestive issues, ask the doctor if vitamin C supplements would be appropriate. Vitamin C may also enhance oral health by preventing bleeding gums and lowering the risk for gingivitis. 

Skin tears, respiratory issues, 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. Santa Rosa families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Call us today at (707) 843.4368 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.