How to Detect and Help with Depression in the Senior Population

    First of all, depression is a serious mental condition, especially for the senior population.  Another key point, the condition is often difficult to recognize. For this reason, caregivers consider the signs and symptoms of depression to be of loneliness in old age. Furthermore, what’s more, disturbing is it can become so serious at times. It is … Read more

How to Prevent Bedsores with a Little TLC

 

Stages of bedsores|How to Prevent Bedsores with a Little TLC

Caring for the elderly with bedsores

The sensitive nature of a persons skin and the immobility due to chronic illnesses.   Elderly patients are susceptible to bedsores.  The disease takes a toll on one’s health as age advances.  Bedsores begin to shape up as a common sore. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers.  And are common in the elderly who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair.

These sores, which begin to develop in those areas of the body, which are bony with little fat deposits.  like the tailbone, elbows, heels and shoulder blades.   Areas receive constant pressure, due to prolonged contact with either the bed or wheelchair.   Constant pressure causes significant reduction of blood supply to a particular area, causing bedsores.

Bedsores develop in 4 different stages, as explained below:

  • Stage 1:  In stage 1, the area under pressure becomes red and swollen and is tender to touch.  If the sores is identified during this stage, they heal without much intervention.
  • Stage 2:  The sore is untreated in the first stage.   These become open sores like abrasions or blisters.  These are pretty painful and are at a high risk of infection.
  • Stage 3:  The sores begin invading the muscle tissues and damage them. Bedsores at this stage are painful and also difficult to treat.
  • Stage 4:  At this stage, sores have caused permanent damage.   To the muscle tissues, joints, tendons, and bones.  The condition can even turn fatal as treatment becomes a challenge.

In view of the severity of bedsores and the intensive damage, they can cause.  It is necessary for the caregivers to keep a close watch on those patients who are bedridden.  This would help prevent the elderly from the torture and pain accompanying the condition. When bedsores are not taken proper care of, they become a strong source of infection.  Only making matters worse for the elderly.

Read moreHow to Prevent Bedsores with a Little TLC

How to Fall and Get Up from the Floor When No One is Around

 

Man fallen on floor|How to Fall and Get Up from the Floor When No One is Around

Assisting the Patient to Fall 

First of all, If you are with a patient who becomes weak or dizzy during a transfer or ambulation, try to ease them down to the floor.  Grasp the patient firm around the waist, using the gait belt if one is available.   Lower the patient to the floor by bending your knees and keeping your back straight.  Do not try to stop a fall because both of you could get injured.

If there is another person in the home, call for help. Check for injuries, and call 911 if necessary. If there are no obvious injuries, help the patient into a comfortable position on the floor. Use pillows, blankets, etc. Allow the patient to rest. You should take a few deep breaths and try to remain calm. Decide if you are able to  assist the patient to get up or if you will need extra help.  If you do not feel confident about moving your patient, do not attempt it.  Call for help.

Assisting Yourself to Get Up When No-One is Around

If you have fallen, DO NOT PANIC.  How you respond after the initial fall can create added injuries than the fall itself.  Once you are down, do not try to get up to fast.  Assess the situation to make sure there are no severe injuries.  STAY CALM, breathe easy, and if you are not hurt; then try to get up with these techniques. In conclusion If you are injured, call 911 or yell for help.

 

Read moreHow to Fall and Get Up from the Floor When No One is Around

How Caregivers Use Transfer Aids

 

Aide putting patient in wheelchair|How Caregivers Use Transfer Aids

Transferring patients to a chair/wheelchair 

It is important to realize, Transfer aids are very important to help your loved ones in a wheelchair.  Another key point, once the patient has adjusted to sitting at the side of the bed, they are ready to transfer to a chair or wheelchair. Indicate the patient’s stronger side. Furthermore, be sure to place the chair or wheelchair parallel to this side so that the patient can assist you with the transfer procedure. As a result, always explain what you are going to do and how your patient can help you. Finally, encourage them to do as much as possible to be as independent as possible. Must be remembered, always keep moving.

Safety Tips: Using the Wheelchair 

  • First, place a chair next to the patient’s stronger side before making the transfer.
  • Then, put footrests out of the way before the patient gets in or out a chair.
  • Also, make sure both wheel brakes are locked into position before the patient gets in or out of the chair.
  • As a result, replace footrests in proper position and assist the patient, as needed, to put feet on footrest after being seated.
  • Another key point, make sure that the patient is in a comfortable and safe sitting position before releasing the wheel brakes.
  • Equally important, release both wheel brakes before attempting to move the chair.
  • By all means, make sure that the patient’s clothing or lap blanket does not trail on the floor or become caught in the wheels.

Person holding on to gait belt|How Caregivers Use Transfer Aids

Transfer or Gait Belt

The first thing to remember, a transfer or gait belt is a belt worn by the patient and used by the caregiver to hold on to the patient during a transfer.  As a result, It is used to help support a weak or unsteady patient to move or walk. Finally, apply the belt before beginning the transfer or before assisting the patient in walking.

Procedure for putting on a gait belt

  1. First, explain what you are going to do.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Secondly, obtain gait belt.
  4. Assist patient to a sitting position on the side of the bed.
  5. Apply belt over clothing and around the waist.  Never apply over bare skin.
  6. Place belt buckles off center in the front or in the back, for the patients’ comfort.
  7. Tighten belt, using buckles; the belt should not be uncomfortable, cause pain, or cause breathing difficulties.
  8. For the female patient, check that their breasts are not caught under the belt.
  9. Finally, prepare the patient for transfer.

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Wonderful Devices for Ambulation

assistive devices for ambulation

 

Man and woman walkingWonderful Devices for Ambulation

Ambulation 

It is important to realize, the term ambulates means “to move the body by walking with or without assistance.” Another key point, once the patient has tolerated sitting in a chair, the next step is to begin to walk. Also, the physical therapist will instruct the patient and caregiver about any special techniques required and will prepare a schedule for daily ambulation. As a result, your role as the home caregiver is to assist their patient, as needed, making sure that the physical therapist’s directions are followed. Sometimes the patient may want to walk longer than the directions allow. Always follow the physical therapist’s directions.

When assisting your patient to walk, follow these general rules:

  • Assist patient in putting on the gait belt, if needed.
  • Assist patient to the standing position, then count to 10 before proceeding.
  • Stand by the patients’ weaker side and slightly behind.
  • Grasp gait belt in back with one hand while placing another hand in front of collarbone on the weaker side.
  • Do not rush the patient; be patient—allow plenty of time.
  • Practice good body mechanics.
  • If the patient becomes tired, wait a few moments before proceeding.
  • Calmly encourage and reassure the patient, as needed.

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Dealing with Negative Emotions from a Caregiver

    Managing Negative Emotions General Guidelines I have been trying to develop some general guidelines for managing negative emotions.  As a result, here is what I have so far. First of all, identify the feeling. Next, ask if it is a healthy feeling. Then, list your options and choose the one that is most … Read more