When most of us want to rest and relax, we head for bed. It seems like spending endless days in bed would be restorative and that the human body was made to lay there for weeks on end with no negative impact. However, the body was not made to be lying down all day, and there are actually a lot of health problems associated with involuntary bed rest. When elderly parents become bedridden, these negative health issues are magnified due to age.
In order to combat the health problems related to bed rest, family caregivers need to spend a lot of time and attention on their elderly parent. Many caregivers find it better overall for themselves and their elderly parents when they hire a home care assistant to help out with meeting the bedridden person’s daily and weekly needs.
Health Problems With Bed Rest
There are many conditions that might hinder an elderly person’s recovery in bed. Some conditions may become even more serious than the original problem. Without lots of attention and some daily assistance, elderly adults may enter a slow decline that will eventually result in the loss of their ability to take care of daily activities on their own. Some of the most common health issues associated with being bedridden include weakened muscles, stiff joints, constipation, blood clots, respiratory weakness, bed sores, bone density loss, urinary tract infections, contractures of the muscle, depression and anxiety.
In decades past, medical experts recommended bedrest as the best way for sick or injured people to recover. However, studies now show that movement is important for the body, no matter what condition it is in. When elderly adults are dependent on a busy family member for their care while on bed rest, they are most likely going to be shortchanged on time and attention. That’s why a home care assistant is ideal for bedridden seniors. They can devote attention to the elderly person’s care and help them stay active enough to avoid most of the health issues.
Ways that Home Care Aides Can Help
Under the direction and approval of the elderly adult’s doctor, family caregivers and home care assistants can do a lot to reduce the risk of the senior developing negative health conditions due to their bed rest. Even though the efforts may seem repetitive or demanding, it’s important that the elderly person gets the attention they need.
Family caregivers and home care aides should establish a schedule for the elderly adult that includes hygiene and grooming, meals, activities and socializing. Depending on their ability, seniors may be able to move around the house with help, or may need to stay in bed. Exercising and stretches, designed for bedridden seniors are a big part of keeping healthy. Home care aides can assist with movement and exercises. Massages and flexing the muscles keeps the body healthier while bedridden. Breathing exercises, regular toilet visits, managing the entertainment and electronics, and engaging in hobbies round out the care that home care assistants can give to elderly adults.
It’s never too late for family caregivers to make arrangements for a home care assistant to come to the home and work with their home care aide. With so many people caring, the elderly adult has the best chance of staying healthy and strong.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Danbury, CT, or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Danbury, CT at 203-731-2544.