When you need to provide care for a loved one who is immobilized or has extreme limitations in mobility, there are a number of important health risks that you need to be aware of. Keeping a vigilant eye on your loved one’s condition will help prevent further health complications.
Bed Sores and the Immobilized
Bed sores, also called decubitus ulcers, are areas of the skin where pressure can cause skin to break or damage. This is usually caused by pressure from the body against a bed or chair for a prolonged period of time. It commonly occurs on the bttocks, shoulder blades, back of the head, elbows, and heels; but can appear anywhere on the body with the right conditions. The listed areas tend to be where the most pressure is as we lay in a bed. Bed sores can be a sign of poor blood flow. Decubitus ulcers can increase the risk of infection and disease in your loved one; which is why it is important to prevent them.
To prevent bed sores, your loved one should be moved and shifted regularly. You will need to help them maintain proper hygiene. Drying them thoroughly before returning them to the bed after bathing is also important in prevention. Your loved one’s doctor can help you understand what is needed to prevent bed sores.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by a build-up of fluid in the lungs. Laying down or sitting still for an extended period can lead to fluid build-up; which leads to an elevated infection risk. The immobilized are at a high risk of getting pneumonia because of this. Elderly individuals, especially those with other health complications, have an increased risk of death from pneumonia. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if your loved one is wheezing, coughing, or showing other signs of labored breathing that may be a sign of fluid in the lungs.
Nausea, Malnutrition and Indigestion
While immobilized, the body’s metabolism can slow down to a snail’s pace. A slow metabolism can make it harder for the body to extract nutrients and reduce the body’s ability to digest properly. This can lead to malnutrition, indigestion, and nausea. Malnutrition can lead to the development of additional health issues.
Hiring Home Health Care
Hiring a certified home health aide can be a good step in preventing further health complications for your immobilized loved one. A certified home health aide will have the training and skills to assist your loved one with all of their needs to stay comfortable, while reducing risks of further ancillary health problems that might arise.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical or healthcare advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact Safe Harbor by clicking here, or call us at (718)-979-6900.