When an aging adult is involuntarily confined to bed, it can change the way they live their lives. It also means that family caregivers have a lot of added responsibility. Everything from hygiene and toileting to positive thinking becomes harder when a senior is bedridden. Hiring an elder care assistant is a good way to help seniors deal with these dramatic changes in their lives.
Family caregivers need to be on the lookout for a number of health issues that are directly related to being bedridden. If left untreated, some of these health issues can get quite serious and may even complicate the illness or injury that is causing them to be bedridden in the first place. While bed rest is good for recovery in many cases, too much of it can result in challenges that can leave the elderly adult in worse health than before.
Here are some of the most common health issues caused by prolonged bed rest.
- Pressures sores. Also known as bed sores, these happen when dry and thin skin gets too much pressure over a period of time. They are common in bedridden patients and appear most often on the back, hips, heels, buttocks, and shoulders. Regular movement and proper body positioning can help reduce the risk of bed sores.
- Pneumonia. Believe it or not, an elderly person’s breathing changes when they spend most of their time lying down. Preventing pneumonia in bedridden people includes deep breathing exercises, elevating the torso and mild to moderate exercise as capable.
- Blood clots. It’s hard to keep the circulation working well during long periods of sedentary time such as bed rest. Easy exercises for the lower part of the body greatly reduce the risk of blood pooling and thickening due to inactivity.
- Constipation. Being bedridden can decrease the appetite and lack of movement can hinder digestion. This is the perfect combination to create constipation in bedridden elderly adults. A good diet, plenty of drinks, and regular toilet schedules with elder care aides can help reduce the risk of constipation.
- Urinary Tract Infections. Causes of UTIs include dehydration, not completely emptying the bladder, and too much moisture near the perineal area. Family caregivers need to be vigilant in making sure their elderly relatives get what they need to avoid UTIs.
- Neurological Distress. Staying bedridden for long periods of time can put a lot of strain on the neurological system. It’s common for elderly adults to experience depression, anxiety, and other behavioral changes. Seniors may also experience a lack of concentration, increased irritability and a lower pain tolerance level. It’s helpful to create a daily routine with different activities and tasks, as well as a variety of entertainment options.
- Weak Bones and Muscles. When someone is bedridden, their bone density can break down, leaving them weaker and more fragile. Muscles and joints will also become weak when they aren’t used much. Lack of use can lead a condition called contracture where the muscles are stiff and may even become disfigured. Adjusting positions, bed exercises, and getting up and around as often as possible are the best ways to avoid this.
If your senior loved one is bedridden, elder care is a great option. Call an elder care agency today to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Quincy, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.