How to Take Care of Bedbound Elderly?
A caregiver is someone who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves. These people include elderly, children and disabled patients. Caregivers can be health professionals, social workers, friends and family members.
Being a caregiver for a loved one who is bedbound allows the patient to heal and rest in the comfort of their homes.
As caregivers, we want to provide the best care for our loved ones. Two challenging aspects of caregiving can be finding suitable care equipment and managing care costs. Read on to find out how to choose suitable assistive equipment and about the financial assistance schemes available.
The right assistive equipment can greatly improve the caregiving experience. Choosing assistive equipment to suit evolving needs can be tricky. Here are some key equipment to look out for when caring for someone who is bedbound.
1. Hospital beds
As they spend the majority of their time on the bed, choosing the right hospital bed is crucial to their wellbeing.
One common problem faced by bedbound patients is bed sores. These occur when the patient lies in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Bed sores usually start as skin irritations, but without proper hygiene and medical care they can lead to severe infection and pain.
The 5 function hospital bed comes highly recommended for this group of elderly patients. This type of bed allows caregivers and users to:
- Adjust the inclination of the hospital bed under both the top and bottom sections of the body.
- Tilt the user onto both their left and right side – the auto-mode function can be used to tilt the user every 30 minutes.
This bed comes in handy especially at night, when the caregiver is sleeping. The auto-mode function can be set to run during the night and help shift the elderly without interrupting the caregiver’s rest.
In addition to the bed, the choice of mattress is also important as this is the surface in direct contact with the user’s body.
Hospital bed mattresses are recommended because:
- They are specially designed to meet the needs of a functioning hospital bed. The mattress’ ability to fold prevents damage to the mattress and makes for easy storage when not in use.
- They improve blood circulation for the user and allow them to comfortably alternate pressure points. This reduces the likelihood of bed sores from prolonged periods of lying.
Choosing the right mattress involves the consideration of many factors. At Medical Assistance4u, we have a variety of hospital bed mattresses to meet the needs of your loved one and the type of bed they use.
3. Transfer sheets and turning cushions
Gravity or movement of the bed may cause the bedbound elderly to shift into uncomfortable positions. In scenarios like this, caregivers may face difficulty adjusting the elderly without proper traction and grip.
The waterproof transfer sheet is a great accessory to help caregivers safely adjust the position of the user. The transfer sheet has 4 grip belts that provide caregiver(s) with a stable grip.
Being waterproof, this transfer sheet is also a good separation membrane between the user and the hospital bed. This prevents any leaked fluids from coming into contact with the hospital bed.
The turning cushion is another piece of equipment that relieves some physical strain when turning the elderly to change their diaper or adjust their position.
Bedbound patients who can move slightly by themselves can also use the turning cushion to do simple physio exercises on the bed. This prevents spasticity (stiff muscles).
Learn more about hospital bed accessories in this guide.
Different wheelchairs have different functions that serve a variety and range of mobility conditions. Choosing the right wheelchair ensures that both the user and caregiver are comfortable during commutes.
Bedbound users using wheelchairs to commute from one location to another may find reclining wheelchairs the most suitable.
Features like a reclining backrest, adjustable footrest and removable headrest keep the user comfortable for extended periods spent in the wheelchair. Do also look out for adjustable calf pads, as these provide support and elevation of the legs to encourage blood circulation and prevent swelling.
Medical Assistance4u provides wheelchair bus transportation with our elderly-oriented and wheelchair-friendly minibuses.
Each minibus can carry 1 wheelchair-bound passenger alongside 7 adult passengers. Wheelchair passengers can access the minibuses via the remote-controlled wheelchair lifting platform. This minimises the need for passengers to move out of the wheelchair, a sometimes uncomfortable and painful process for users.
Multiple charging points are also available and cater for additional medical equipment or charging of devices
Our team is medically-trained to offer the safest and most suitable wheelchair transport service for users and their caregivers.
Financial assistance schemes
There are a variety of schemes to support caregiving for loved ones. At a glance, these are some schemes available:
- Caregivers Training Grant
- Home Caregiving Grant
- Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession for Persons with Disabilities
- Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund
- Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme
- Community Health Assist Scheme
- Primary Care Network
- Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly
To learn about these schemes and how to apply if you qualify for them, visit the Agency for Integrated Care’s website here.
At Medical Assistance4u
Our team of medically trained staff at Medical Assistance4u can provide you with consultation services to assist you in providing good bedbound care for your loved ones.
We have a range of assistive equipment to support caregivers and ensure they are working in safe and comfortable conditions.