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Alternating Pressure Mattress: How to Care For Your Bedridden Loved One

Caring for a bedridden loved one is a task that requires a lot of patience, planning and support. Once a loved one becomes bedridden, everyone's life changes. The day-to-day struggles and demands will eventually have an effect on every family member.

A very common concern is bedsores. Bedsores start developing as a little red spot, and very rapidly you will see that some of the skin has peeled. What follows is the exposure of raw flesh, which gets bigger and bigger right in front of your very eyes, and it forms a cavity that can deepen to the extent that your hand may fit in it.

If bedsores are not treated promptly, there can be serious consequences. If they get too severe, your loved one may have to be hospitalized, may have to endure uncomfortable and painful treatments, possibly surgery, and will have to take huge amounts of antibiotics, all of which means high costs and lots of suffering, both of which, can be avoided.

It is not an easy road, but definitely one that supports less suffering, a better quality of life, and more peace of mind. Here are the 5 steps to keep your bedridden loved one away from bedsores:

  1. Detection
    The first step towards preventing bedsores is to detect them. These sores, which are also known as pressure sores, develop when frail and dry skin comes in direct contact with bone and bed sheets. Bedsores normally develop at angular edges like the hip, shoulders, elbows, and next to the spine.

    You have to ensure that your loved one is caringly and frequently moved from one side to the other. This may be challenging because it has to be done during day and night, compromising everyone's resting time. The solution for this is simple: get an alternating pressure mattress, which turns the person automatically every certain amount of minutes to ensure the skin is not damaged.

    During sponging, check the areas at risk for redness, tenderness, shine, rawness, and pain. Sponging is a task that requires lots of energy, should be taken seriously and performed with a lot of care. If you hire a caregiver to do it for you, supervise him or her closely, because the symptoms that can be detected through sponging are important and should be communicated to the doctor immediately.

    When they are detected early, pressure sores are easier to treat. Putting special lotions, powders and creams on the affected areas, can stop the damage.

    The best favor you can do your loved one is to get a good bed that can be easily moved by levers or electronically, and the best alternating air pressure mattress you can find. These details are important, just as much as developing a close relationship with the caregiver, or anyone else who will be helping tend to your loved one, is.

  2. Management
    The second important step is to learn to manage the condition. Caregivers are normally challenged by continence problems. You have to remember that your loved one doesn't like to soil himself or herself; most surely he or she is deeply embarrassed by the situation, and you can get it off your chest somehow, but he or she can't. This is the reality, and the best way to handle it is by acknowledging it.

    Get everyone a strong pair of gloves and enough disposable masks. Maintain the room, the bed, and your loved one completely clean, dry, and airy. Maintain utensils like the bedpan, urine-pot, condom catheters, cotton, tissues, and antiseptic washing liquids, at hand.

    It is far better to help your loved one empty his or her bladder frequently than to change sheets and clothes three or four times a day. Use old sheets, because they absorb better, are soft on the skin, and you won't suffer as much in case you have to throw them away.

    There is a right way to change linens; learn it to avoid backaches, and use adult diapers, which are one of the best inventions ever. Pay attention to your loved one's nutrition, because lying down will make digestion difficult.

  3. Movement
    The third step in the care routine is to make your loved one move.

    Exercise is crucial; however, you have to be careful not to worsen the condition. Circulation in the body has to be activated to avoid dangers like gangrene. You have to gently move your loved one's inactive members several times per day. If the doctor says he or she can sit, encourage them to do so.

  4. Organization
    The fourth step is to get organized. Follow a specific routine that will greatly help your loved one and will allow you time for yourself. Define a wakeup time, a time to brush teeth, to sponge, to exercise, and to eat. Include breaks so that you both can rest.

    In order to take good care of your loved one you have to be healthy yourself. Pay attention to what you eat, and get good resting time. Eventually, you may feel tired, trapped, like there is no way out, and this is completely normal, so don't feel guilty, even if it is your loved one lying in bed.

  5. Responsibility
    Last but not least, the fifth step is to share the responsibility. Your bedridden loved one will most certainly feel depressed. He or she knows they will eventually pass away, and you may feel depressed too. It is vital that you transmit happiness to your loved one, even if it is not easy. Get the help of family and friends to cheer the person up; this will give you time to disconnect and will change the routine.

    Most importantly remember that this is a phase, just as everything else in life is, eventually things will pass and you will feel better. For now, try to laugh and pray daily, and remember your loved one thanks you from the bottom of his or her heart.

Probably the most important task your loved one needs you to perform to help him or her stay safe from bedsores is to move him or her frequently. As we already mentioned, this is not easy and can greatly jeopardize everyone's quality of life, and this is why the Völkner® alternating pressure mattress exists.

This alternating pressure air mattress is basically an automatic turning system, meaning it turns the person by itself every 4, 5, or 6 minutes so that you don't have to do it manually, except for wound treatment, bowel programs, and personal care.

We have many alternating pressure mattresses available; check out our products here; check out the life enhancing benefits our product will offer you and your loved one, and feel free to contact us to learn more or to clear up any questions you may have.

Just confirm this mattress's capacity to help your loved one by reading the heartfelt testimonials of those it has assisted. If you have a bedridden loved one, you most certainly will relate to them, and find comfort in knowing there is an alternating pressure mattress that can bring so much relief and quality of life to your family member.