No one enjoys spending a bright, beautiful summer day indoors, yet seniors and the elderly recuperating from hospital admissions, surgeries, or outpatient procedures may find themselves bedridden or confined to one room. Being bedridden can be difficult to adjust to – being confined or homebound can lead to a multitude of medical and psychiatric illnesses. Confinement is associated with tiredness or illness. It can have a pathological effect on overall quality of life. “The care of homebound elders has caught the attention of internists, dentist, nutritionists and psychiatrists alike. Homebound elders, while not institutionalized, are confined to their homes due to physical, psychiatric and social limitations. “
As a caregiver, responsibilities can double when caring for a loved one who is bedridden or confined. Bedridden patients require fulltime 24/7 care and attention. Daily bathing and hygiene usually requires more than one person. Preparing nutritious [prescribed] meals, changing the bed, avoiding bedsores and screening for redness, rashes and skin breaks ‘on a daily basis’ can become exasperating and overwhelming. Communications, declines and emergencies challenge the patient and the caregiver.
Caring for the confined patient offers similar struggles. Rooms must be large enough for medical equipment and prescribed bedding, be well ventilated and allow space for wheel chairs or crutches, chairs and/or tables. Providing activities which stimulate and inspire include television, computers, books and magazines. Opportunities to interact online, access to podcasts and interactive media spur psychological stimulation. Human contact beyond that of the in-home caregiver enthuses mental and emotional well-being. Patients need to experience variations in their environment: Intersperse color in bedding, curtains, décor and clothing. Social and psychic overload can befall those who care for confined or homebound patients. “Care of the chronically ill patient confined to the home carries with it a serious social and psychological burden, which falls essentially on the wife or daughter” – often an adolescent or teen.
Warm summer days and extended hours of daylight are a draw to outdoor activities. Caregivers long for long walks, sandy beaches, amusement parks and outdoor cafes’ – so does the bedridden and/or confined loved one. Home Helpers provides guidance and support to caregivers – in-home, in assisted living and long-term care facilities. Your 24/7 requirement can be reduced to three hours a day or three days a week. Your loved one will receive physical, mental and emotional care from a trained, licensed professional caregiver.
Understanding the challenges of the confined patient and acknowledging the challenges of their caregiver is step one in meeting the psychological, emotional, and physical of both. Long, hot summer days can seem never-ending. Let us help. Call me to learn more.