Home care for a bedridden senior

Caring for bedridden elderly at home

Home care for a bedridden senior becomes a necessity when his or her family members are often at wits’ end. This is because they may not be able to do a good job assisting the senior to perform his or her activities of daily living. Some seniors may also need round-the-clock attention. And this can be hard on the family members.

Two years back, Prafulla Mukhi was temporarily bedridden after developing an infection in the spinal cord. Her family members found it difficult to manage all aspects of her care on the bed. So they decided to hire a professional home attendant from Life Circle, a home care providing agency. Sridevi, the patient’s daughter-in-law, spoke about her experiences with the caregivers.

She says that Pulasam Kalpana was their favourite caregiver. Pulasam cared for Prafulla during the bedridden phase for 6-7 months. Sridevi adds, “Pulasam knew how to get the job done and had the knack. She would somehow make her take the medicines. (She) Would also tell stories (to get the patient to co-operate). And she would make her exercise as per the physiotherapist’s advice. Pulasam completely took over the patient from the first day.”[sic]

Aspects of home care for a bedridden senior

Daily hygiene regimen

Firstly, the caregiver has to ensure that the patient is clean and a daily hygiene regimen has to be in place. And this includes activities like sponging, maintaining oral hygiene, changing clothes, combing hair, trimming nails, etc.

Prevention of bedsores

Caregivers will have to pay special attention to prevent bedsores. The patient will have to be repositioned every few hours. And he or she will have to perform a few light exercises on the bed.

Feeding time

When feeding the patient, caregivers will need to support his or her head and back with the help of a few pillows or a backrest. Then the caregiver has to help the patient sit up (at least in a semi-reclining position) and feed him or her small bites and sips. Seniors usually take longer to finish a meal. Caregivers will have to be patient and it’s normal for mealtime to last up to an hour.

Toileting needs

Caregivers will have to handle patients having different toileting needs. They will also have to help the patient in maintaining perineal hygiene. While a bedpan can be used in some cases, diapers can be used for those with incontinence. And special care should be given to those with catheters. Changing a bedridden adult’s diaper is different from changing a baby’s. The patient has to be rolled onto her (his) sides so that he or she can be cleaned up. This needs a lot of effort if the patient is medium or heavy built.

Changing bed sheets

Bedding can get soiled during mealtime and during bed baths. It may also have dirt, skin particles, etc. Changing bed sheets every day is a must for bedridden patients as they are most vulnerable to infections. A skilled caregiver can change bedsheets without moving the patient from the bed.

Be empathetic

A bedridden patient obviously goes through a lot of distress. This may make him or her angry, upset and go through mood swings. Caregivers from Life Circle are empathetic. They understand a patient’s needs and accede to his or her requests accordingly.

Prafulla Mukhi’s recovery

Prafulla Mukhi had to undergo a minor surgery. Now, after nearly a year and a half of medication, physiotherapy, and dietary changes, the patient can sit up. She can use the bathroom and can walk independently. Sridevi mentions, “The recovery was miraculous and would not have been possible without the help of caregivers from Life Circle. They worked with the patient every day and followed the advice of doctors and physiotherapists all the while.”

Quality home care for a bedridden senior

Life Circle’s trained caregivers offer quality home care to bedridden patients. A qualified nurse constantly supports caregivers on their job. He or she also ensures that they follow a personalised care plan. They also train them on specific requirements related to a patient’s condition.

About the author

Madhumita is a familial caregiver to her mother-in-law who lives with dementia and a full-time mom of a bubbly 3-year-old. She meets and interacts with Life Circle’s clients to understand various aspects of Geriatric care and care needs with the aim of serving our clients in a better way.

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