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Making friendly Bathroom for Seniors

The reason bathrooms are a focus of this stems from the fact that they are private spaces, meaning your Aunt Mildred is isolated from help in the event of an accident, and because they can pose a hazard to anyone due to the ample amount of slipper surfaces they have. Here is how you can combat this:

 Non-Slip Bathroom Mats

  • This prevents people from stepping on wet, slippery tiles and also helps provide a visual cue for elderly relatives who may have poor depth perception.
  • You may also want to consider placing a non-slip mat or adhesive strips near the sink, as this is another area where tiles may become wet.

Grab Bars

  • To give your relatives something sturdy to hold onto, you should install grab bars (which can be either permanent or temporary) on the shower wall and on the wall around the toilet area. Look for grip-resistant grab bars and make sure they are firmly bolted to the wall (rather than just selecting grab bars with suction cups). For tubs, look for grab bars that can be directly mounted onto the tub rim.
  • Senior citizen home should be free of tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes

Tension Pole

  • An alterative to grab bars is the tension pole, a floor-to-ceiling metal rod that can be installed near the shower or toilet in your bathroom to give elderly relatives another supportive structure.

Proper Lighting

  • Make sure to install a reliable nightlight (LED nightlights are a good choice).
  • Make sure that you also have nightlights in the hallway to provide a clear path to the bathroom.

Raised Toilet Seat

  • You’ll want to choose a seat with brackets or some kind of locking mechanism in order to securely attach it to the toilet rim.
  • You may also want to choose a raised toilet seat with attached grab bars for additional safety. 

Room to Maneuver

  • Seniors who have difficulty moving around will find the cramped spaces of many older bathrooms difficult to get around, and if there is a grandparent using a wheelchair, this can even make it impossible to use certain spaces without help.
  • If you’re planning a remodel to help accommodate these new needs, make sure your bathroom is wheelchair accessible and there is enough space around the toilet, bathtub, and any cabinets or closets.

Shower Seat

If you only have a shower available, then consider installing a shower seat,

Another way to make bathing easier is to include an adjustable, hand-held shower head, which can be brought down to sitting level if needed.

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Post Surgery Healing of Incision

An incision is a sharp cut made in something for eg., by a surgeon who is operating   

After surgery, you will need to take care of the incision as it heals. Doing so may limit scarring, may help you avoid pain or discomfort, and may help lower the risk of problems like infection.

Signs of infection

Call your doctor if you notice signs of an infection, such as:

  • A yellow or green discharge that is increasing.
  • A change in the odour of the discharge.
  • A change in the size of the incision.
  • Redness or hardening of the surrounding area.
  • The incision is hot to the touch.
  • Increasing or unusual pain.
  • Excessive bleeding that has soaked through the dressing.
  • Fever

Post surgical care:

  • When to remove the bandage:

In some cases, your bandage should be removed the day after surgery. This depends on the location of the surgery, the seriousness of the surgery and incision. Most wounds don’t require a bandage after a few days.

  • Keep your incision dry
  • Avoid showering or bathing the first day.
  • Try taking a sponge bath if there is stitches or skin tape on your incision.
  • It’s usually okay to wash with soap and water by the second day.
  • Removing the stitches. 
  • This is done by your doctor.
  • You should not remove your own stitches.
  • Your doctor may apply skin tape after the stitches are removed. The tape can be removed in 3 to 7 days.
  • Sometimes, your incision will be closed with internal stitches (stitches under the surface of your skin). Those typically are absorbed by your body gradually and don’t need to be removed. Healing skin may need months to regain most of its strength.
  • Limit movement around the stitches. 
  • Avoid activities that could cause your incision to pull apart( lifting, straining, exercise, or sports for the first month or so after surgery)
  • Call your doctor if the incision pulls apart.
  • Always wash your hands:
  • With Sterillium for disinfection

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Sponge Bath

Sponge baths, or bed baths, are used to bathe people who are bedridden or unable to bathe on their own due to health reasons.

Preparing to Give the Bath

  • Fill two basins or washtubs with warm water. One is used for washing, and the other for rinsing. The water temperature should be 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) or less. You want it to be comfortable to the touch, but not too hot.
  • Choose soap /Wash gel/shampoo that’s easy to rinse away. 
  • Avoid using soap that has exfoliating beads or other substances that could end up staying on the patient’s skin and causing irritation.

Steps

  • Place two towels under the patient. This will prevent the bed from getting wet and keep the patient comfortable during the process. To place the towels under the patient, lift the patient onto their side and scoot the towel under, then carefully lower the patient and do the same on the other side.
  • Cover the patient with a clean sheet or towel. This will ensure the patient stays warm during the bath as well as providing some privacy. The sheet or towel will stay on the patient’s body the whole time.
  • Be sure to adjust the temperature in the room if necessary, to prevent the patient from getting a chill.
  • Remove the patient’s clothes. Fold down the sheet or towel, uncovering the patient’s top half, and remove their shirt. Replace the sheet over the top half of the patient. Fold the sheet back from the patient’s legs and remove their pants and underwear. Recover the patient with the sheet.
  • Try to keep as much of the patient covered as possible while you’re removing the clothes.
  • Keep in mind that this process can be embarrassing for some people, so try to work quickly and with a purposeful attitude.

Bathing the Head, Chest and Legs

  • Use the same cleansing and rinsing method for the whole body. First apply soap or soapy water to the patient’s skin. Scrub it gently with a washcloth to remove dirt and bacteria, then place the washcloth in the soapy basin. Dip a second washcloth into the rinsing basin and use it to rinse away the soap. Pat the area dry with a towel.
  • Remember to rotate between the two washcloths: use one for soaping and one for rinsing. If the cloths become soiled, switch to clean ones.
  • Replace the water in the basins as necessary.
  • Start with the patient’s face. Gently wash the patient’s face, ears and neck with soapy water. Rinse away the soap with a separate washcloth. Dry the cleansed area with a towel.
  • Wash the patient’s hair. Gently lift their head into the shampooing basin. Wet the hair by pouring water over the patient’s head, taking care not to get it in their eyes. Apply shampoo, then rinse it away. Pat the hair dry with a towel.
  • Wash the patient’s left arm and shoulder. Fold over the sheet on the left side of the body down to the hip. Place a towel beneath the exposed arm. Wash and rinse the patient’s shoulder, underarm, arm and hand. Dry the wet areas with a towel.
  • Dry the washed areas thoroughly, especially the underarm, to prevent chafing and bacteria growth
  • Recover with the sheet to keep the patient warm.
  • Wash the patient’s right arm and shoulder. Fold over the sheet to expose the right side. Place the towel beneath the other arm and repeat, washing, rinsing and drying the right shoulder, underarm, arm and hand.
  • Dry the washed areas thoroughly, especially the underarm, to prevent chafing and bacteria growth
  • Recover with the sheet to keep the patient warm.
  • Wash the patient’s torso. Fold the sheet down to the waist and gently wash and rinse the chest, stomach and sides. Be sure to wash carefully among any folds in the patient’s skin, since bacteria tends to get trapped there. Dry the torso carefully, especially among the folds.
  • Recover the patient with the sheet to keep the patient warm.
  • Wash the patient’s legs. Uncover the patient’s right leg up to the waist, and wash, rinse and dry the leg and foot. Recover the right leg and uncover the left, then wash, rinse and dry the leg and foot. Recover the lower half of the body.

Bathing the Back and Private Area

  • Empty the water basins and refill with clean water. Since approximately half the patient’s body is now clean, it’s a good time to refill the water.
  • Ask the patient to roll on their side if they are able. You may have to assist the person. Make sure they are not too close to the edge of the bed.
  • Wash the patient’s back and buttocks. Fold the sheet over to expose the entire back side of the patient. Wash, rinse and dry the back of the patient’s neck, back, buttocks and parts of the legs you may have missed.
  • Wash the genital area and anus. Put on latex gloves if desired. Lift the person’s leg and wash from front to back. Use a clean washcloth to rinse the area. Be sure to clean thoroughly between folds, and dry the area thoroughly as well.
  • Males should be washed behind the testicles. Wash female’s labia, but there’s no need to clean the vagina.
  • This part of the body should be washed every day, even when you’re not giving a full-body bed bath.
  • Redress the patient. When you’re finished, dress the patient in clean clothes or a robe. First replace the patient’s shirt, keeping the sheet over his or her legs. Then remove the sheet and replace the person’s underwear and pants.
  • Elderly skin tends to get dry, so you may want to apply lotion to the arms and legs before putting their clothes back on.
  • Comb the person’s hair and apply cosmetics and other body products according to the patient’s preferences.

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Questions to ask during Discharge

Here are some must-ask questions. ….

  • What diagnosis/diagnoses (exact medical issue and it’s prognosis) was my loved one treated for?
  • Can he/she do their daily needs by their own?
  • Is there any need of certain medical supplies or equipment and how/where do we get these items?
  • How can I receive the proper training to provide the necessary care for my loved one, like changing dressings for a wound or using a feeding tube?
  • Can we get discharge plan?
  • Which all medicine to be taken and when?
  • When should we come for the next doctor’s review?
  • What diet plan needs to be followed?
  • Do we need to check blood glucose or BP at home?
  • Whom should we contact if in case of any medical emergency/need?
  • Can you explain the do’s and don’ts for the better healing at home?
  • Can I get any home assistance from the hospital?

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Wheelchair Management

A chair fitted with wheels for use as a means of transport by a person who is unable to walk as a result of illness, injury, or disability.

Types of Wheel chair

  • Weight
  • Backrest
  • Rear wheels
  • Front castors
  • Footplates
  • Hybrid
  • Reclining
  • Stand-up
  • Sports chair
  • Pediatric chair

Management:

  • An assessment may be done to evaluate the patient’s need for a wheelchair.
  • This may include the patient’s strength, living situation, weight, skin integrity, etc. Once the patient’s needs are established, measurements are taken prior to ordering the equipment.
  • Wheelchair management also trains the patient in functional activities that promote optimal safety, mobility and transfers.
  • Patients who are wheelchair bound may occasionally need skilled input on positioning to avoid pressure points, contractures, and other medical complications. 
  • May be part of an active treatment plan directed at a specific goal.
  • The patient must have the capacity to learn from instructions.
  • Typically 3-4 total sessions should be sufficient to teach the patient these skills.

To manipulate the brakes

  • To reach the right brake:
  • Hook the left elbow behind the left chair handle.
  • Lean forward and to the right, allowing the left biceps to lengthen as the trunk movement occurs.
  • To release the brake, use flexion of the elbow and shoulder to push the lever forward with the palm of the hand or the lower part of the supinated forearm  To apply the brake, pull the lever back using the right biceps and either the extended wrist or the supinated forearm
  • To remove the armrest
  • Most armrests now tend to flip-up

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Post Transplant Surgery Care

After transplant, your decisions and dedication to your own self-care at home will be vital to your health and the success of your transplant. The following life style changes are advised .To have the best outcome as a transplant recipient.

  • Know all your medications: doses, times and why you are taking them and what to avoid while taking medications.
  • Follow your medication schedule daily and make changes only as ordered by your transplant physician.
  • Maintain routine contact with your transplant team through your transplant coordinator.
  • Attend follow-up appointments and/or transplant clinic as instructed.
  • Have blood tests drawn routinely as required.
  • Monitor your weight, blood pressure, and temperature as required.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine check-ups.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking as it increase the chances of malignancies and vascular diseases (heart attacks and strokes)
  • If planning for a trip to abroad that requires immunization, you should ask the transplant team. Always carry the latest medical prescription and medicines.

Avoid infection by taking the following precautions.

  • Wash hands often and Stay away from people with colds or other infections.
  • If the patient has a wound and must change his own dressing, wash hands before and after.
  • Avoid handling animal waste and avoid contact with animals who roam outside.
  • Avoid working in the soil for 6 months after the transplant. Thereafter, wear gloves.

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

How to Feed a Patient Comfortably

Preparing a Client for Meal time :

  • Mealtime is a very important event.
  • Make it an enjoyable and pleasant experience.
  • See that the meal is served in as attractive manner and freshly prepared as possible.
  • Keep in mind all of the things that need to be done for each client before and after each meal.

Before Meal Care:

  • Wash the client’s hands
  • Before the meal, offer the bedpan or urinal or assist/ remind the client to go to the bathroom.
  • Provide oral care (dentures)
  • Assist the client to the dinning table, or in bed
  • Convenient position
  • Protect clothing with napkin, towel, or clothing protector.

Serving Meals

  • Serve meals promptly so food temperature is maintained.
  • Hot food should be served hot and cold foods served cold
  • Assist depending upon the type of feed

After-Meal Care :

  • When the client has finished eating remove the dishes and napkin, towel or clothing.
  • Assist the client to wash his hands and face.
  • Assist with or remind the client of oral care.
  • Note how much and what the client eats.

Caution:

  • CLIENTS SHOULD BE KEPT IN UPRIGHT POSITION FOR 1 HOUR AFTER MEALS TO MINIMIZE REFLUX INTO THE ESOPHAGUS (HEARTBURN).
  • IF A CLIENT IS COMATOSE, UNCONSCIOUS, OR UNRESPONSIVE, DO NOT GIVE ORAL LIQUIDS OR FOOD. UNCONSCIOUS CLIENTS OFTEN RECEIVE NUTRITION BY ANOTHER METHOD (TUBE FEEDING

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Bedsore Management

An ulceration of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by poor circulation due to prolonged pressure on body parts

The most common places

  • hips
  • back
  • ankles
  • buttocks

This condition is common among:

  • elderly people
  • people with decreased mobility
  • people who spend long periods in bed or a wheelchair
  • people who can’t move certain body parts without help
  • people with fragile skin

Sign Symptoms :

  • skin discoloration
  • pain in the affected area
  • infection
  • open skin
  • skin that doesn’t lighten to the touch
  • skin that’s softer or firmer than the surrounding skin

Treatment:

Changing position

  • Second hourly positioning

Mattresses and cussion

  • Air mattress/Alfa Bed
  • Water bed

Dressings:

  • Alginate dressings –  to speed up the healing process
  • Hydrocolloid dressings –  encourages the growth of new skin cells in the ulcer, while keeping the surrounding healthy skin dry 
  • Other dressing types – such as foams, films, hydro fibres /gelling fibres, gels and antimicrobial (antibiotic) dressings may also be used

“Gauze dressings aren’t recommended for either the prevention or treatment of pressure ulcers.”

Creams and ointments:

  • Topical antiseptic or antimicrobial (antibiotic) creams and ointments aren’t usually recommended for treating pressure ulcers.
  • But barrier creams may be needed to protect skin that’s been damaged or irritated by incontinence. 

Antibiotics

  • Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat an infected ulcer or if you have a serious infection, such as
  • Bacterial infection of tissues under the skin (cellulitis)
  • Infection of the bone (osteomyelitis)

Diet and nutrition

  • Eating a healthybalanced diet that contains enough protein and a good variety of vitamins

Removing damaged tissue (debridement)

  • A local anaesthetic should be used to numb the area around the ulcer so debridement (if not being treated with a dressing) doesn’t cause you any pain.

Surgery

  • Surgical treatment involves:
  • Cleaning the wound and closing it by bringing the edges of the ulcer together
  • Cleaning the wound and using tissue from healthy skin nearby to close the ulcer
  • Implanted skin tissue dying

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Patient Care in Plaster Casts

Meaning of plaster cast

Plaster casts are made up of a bandage and a hard covering (usually plaster of Paris). They allow broken bones in the arm or leg to heal by holding them in place, and usually need to stay on for 4 and 12 weeks.

Taking good care of your cast will help ensure a better recovery.

Plaster cast care advice

  • Keep your arm or leg raised on a soft surface, such as a pillow, for as long as possible in the first few days. This will help any swelling to go down and will help the cast dry correctly.
  • Don’t get your plaster cast wet. This will weaken it, and your bone will no longer be properly supported.
  • You can use a plastic bag to cover up the cast when you have a bath or shower.
  • Alternatively, it is possible to buy special covers for plaster casts to dry .If your cast gets wet, contact your hospital for advice as soon as possible.
  • Always remove the bag as soon as you came to avoid causing sweating, which could also damage the cast.
  • Even if the plaster cast makes your skin feel very itchy, don’t be tempted to poke anything underneath it, as this could cause a nasty sore. The itchiness should settle down after a few days.

More plaster cast tips

  • Exercise any joints that aren’t covered by the cast – such as your elbow, knee, fingers or toes – to help improve your circulation.
  • Avoid getting small objects, powders and sprays inside your cast, as they could irritate your skin.
  • Don’t try to alter the length or position of your cast.
  • Don’t lift anything heavy or drive until the cast has been removed.
  • Use crutches or a sling, as advised by your health professional.
  • Use painkillers if you experience any pain.
  • You can usually return to school or work with a cast, but you should avoid strenuous activities that may damage the broken bone or cast.

Plaster cast problems

  • If  plaster cast still feels too tight after keeping it elevated for 24 hours
  • If fingers or toes on the affected limb feel swollen, tingly, painful (even after taking painkillers) or numb
  • Fingers or toes turn blue or white
  • Cast feels too loose
  • Cast is broken or cracked
  • The skin underneath or around the edge of your cast feels sore
  • There is an unpleasant smell or discharge coming from your cast
  • If you have any concerns about your plaster cast, call NHS 111 for 24-hour advice.

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

Content Courtesy : Portea

Disinfecting Home

Disinfection is very important in imparting general hygiene in home environment specially if  your family member has just undergone a surgery,and are at risk of getting infection easily .followings are some measures to be carried out at home to reduce the spread of pathogens…

  • Washing hands with warm water and soap (preferably liquid soap) and drying them properly (with a paper towel) will remove germs . Alcohol hand-rubs are useful in the home.  Follow the steps after touching any surface  in your home and before taking foods.
  • Keep your fridge temperature between 2 and 4°C.  Make sure the seal on your fridge door works and the door closes properly.
  • Cloths, mops, towels and sponges also spread germs around..so you need to change the cloths, mops, towels and sponges frequently and wash them at 60ºC, preferably in a washing machine.
  • Hot steam-ironing helps to reduce any germs left over from washing. Don’t wash soiled clothes by hand. If you can’t avoid this, you should wear rubber or disposable gloves. never wash soiled clothes in the kitchen.
  • Should get a special sharp-objects box from your local health centre which you can give back when it is full. Keep the needles and sharp objects stored safely.
  • Clean floors, carpets and other surfaces everyday using a vaccum cleaner. You should use detergent and hot water to clean all surfaces .can also use a good quality household bleach.
  • Clean the kitchen before the bathroom and clean the sink and shower first and the toilet last. You should also have separate cleaning cloths for the kitchen and bathroom, and for the toilet and  the bath/sink.
  • Try not to keep any dirty tea towels in your kitchen. Clean your toilet bowl regularly with a lime scale remover.
  • If you use water filters for drinking water, change them regularly. If you have your own private water supply such as a bored well, you should have it tested once a year to check for germ levels.
  • You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you use chemicals for disinfection.

To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.

Patient Care

 Content Courtesy : Portea