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Posted 09/01/2019 in Category 1

Bedridden Patient. Care Of Bed Bound Person.


Bedridden Patient.  Care Of Bed Bound Person.

When certain individuals get older or in some cases contract an illness, it can cause them to be unable to function. If it affects mobility and they are unable to make it under their own power, many times they become bedridden. This can just be temporary from such things as the flu or other illnesses, but often when an individual is bed-bound, the situation can be permanent. Caring for someone that is bed bound is a whole different world than simply being there to aid someone in everyday life. Bed-bound individuals depend upon the care aide. The severity of their illness may require someone to turn them or help them turn, which can help ensure that they do not form bed sores.

A few of the main considerations to watch for when taking care of a bed bound individual is to make sure that there is a cushion between their elbows, ankles, and knees. These are the bodies primary hotspots that can cause skin to start breaking down. You also want to make sure that the persons neck is in line with their spine when positioned. It should not be too far forward, backwards, or to either side. With some patients, the care aide can communicate with them and ask whether they're comfortable, but if that is not the case, the aide should always follow these simple guidelines to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible.

Let's take a look at a few items and procedures that will make taking care of a bed bound individual at home or in a nursing facility much easier.

Wedge Cushions/Pillows

Wedge cushions or pillows should be used to ensure that the pressure points on the body are not connecting or rubbing together. If the person is not functional, these can also be used to position them in the bed so that they do not roll back over. Bed bound patients should be turned at least every two hours using the left, back, right technique to be sure that no area of the body continuously has pressure on it. Wedge cushions or pillows can be used on the pressure points areas to ensure that the person stays in position.

A Proper Bed

When caring for a bed bound individual, it is important that the bed be adjustable so that you can maneuver them and ensure that they remain comfortable. While turning the individual, it is necessary to be able to adjust the height of the bed, both for the comfort of the patient, but also to help prevent back injuries for the care aide. Being able to adjust the head and feet is also important.  

Draw Sheets

When dealing with an individual that is bed bound, using a draw sheet is an easy way to ensure that you will be able to adjust the patient up and down the bed. Occasionally a bed pad will be used as a draw sheet but more commonly the caregiver will take a standard size top sheet for the bed and fold it into quarters lengthwise. The sheet should then be laid across the bed side to side length ways with the top end coming to the mid chest region and the bottom hitting about mid thigh on the patient. This allows the caregivers to move the patients up and down the bed with less trouble. 

Skin Checks

When caring for a bed-bound individual, it is very important that you do skin checks regularly. Most places recommend that you do skin check at least twice a day to look for any red irritated spots or places where the skin might be breaking down. This is important because when an individual is bed-bound and unable to move, pressure points like what happens between the knees, ankles, and elbows can become irritated and form bed sores. These are not the only areas that can form bed sores and the care aide should be vigilant in making sure that they are checking any pressure points on their patient’s body.

How Many Pillows can I use with Bed Bound Patients?

At least four pillows is recommended for individuals that are bed-bound, but that is not the limit. When positioning someone that is unable to move themselves, you can use as many pillows as you need to keep them in place. Having said that you want to make sure that none of the pillows are restricting circulation or in an area where it will prevent the person from breathing. 

Should I Report Redness on the Skin?

Redness of the skin can be an indicator that a bed sore is starting so it is important that the aide should not only chart the incident, but should report it to the next shift and the supervisor whoever they may be. Once the issue is reported, there should be a check of the area routinely to make sure that it does not progress. Gently rubbing the feet, back, shoulders, and any pressure point on the body such as the bony protrusions can not only comfort individual, it can help with circulation and may help prevent the breakdown of skin.

Should Bed Bound Patient Use Electric Blankets?

Many times a bed bound patient will have fragile or thin skin and bad circulation. An electric blanket can heat them up quite quickly. The problem with using an electric blanket if a person is experiencing potential skin breakdown is that it can actually cause them to experience burns. This is especially important with individuals that are unable to communicate their needs because the blanket could be hurting them and they won't be able to tell the care aide what's wrong. 

Transferring Bed-bound Patients.

Transferring a bed bound patient is something that can require up to four people. Speak with the care team and they will be able to provide techniques and instruction on moving them from one bed to another. If the aide is simply moving the patient up or down in the bed, this is where the draw sheet comes in. Two people should be involved, one on each side of the bed. They will use the draw sheet to provide lift to the individual and scoot them up or down. The aide should speak to the care team about proper lifting techniques so as to not cause themselves injuries. 




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