Medical Disorders Commonly seen in Bedridden People:
It is not only a significant physical adjustment for patients and families but also emotionally challenging to watch a loved one become bedridden. Additionally, many difficulties can arise if someone is bedridden due to illness, a disability, or old age. The load is shared by both the individual and the caregivers.
Therefore, caretakers must be aware of the hazards to the patient's mental health as well as physical health. This will enable them to ease the transition and maintain the patient as happy and healthy as possible. It is crucial and helpful for caregivers to understand what these patients are really suffering from and how they would want to be helped in that situation.
This blog discusses a few medical conditions and health hazards that are most likely to affect bedridden individuals and offers caregivers advice on reducing and managing such risks.
Medical Conditions in Bedridden Patients:
The following are some of the most prevalent medical conditions that are likely to arise in bedridden people.
1.Bedsores Or Pressure Ulcers
Pressure sores (bedsores or pressure ulcers) can develop when people sit or lie in the same position for long periods of time. When the body's weight remains on the same pressure points for an extended period of time, less blood flows to those areas. The blood flow to those places can be cut off by pressure on blood vessels, the leading cause of pressure ulcers.
Further, when skin and muscles are deprived of nutrients and are not getting enough oxygen, they become brittle, dry, inelastic, and more prone to tearing or breaking. In addition to this, being incontinent causes the skin to be exposed to urine, which weakens it and makes it more likely to tear.
Bed sores are prone to growing large, deep, painful, and difficult to heal. Caretakers should rotate a patient's position in bed if they have trouble moving in order to prevent bed sores from developing. Look for any indication of pressure sores on the skin. In order to protect body parts that come into contact with the bed, such as the heels, protective wool pads or posies should be used. If a person already has pressure sores, a Medical Sheepskin overlay that will redistribute pressure will be helpful. This will prevent pressure points from developing and will improve comfort.
The accumulation of fluid and mucus in the chest due to immobility can result in pneumonia and other problems. The head of the bed should be raised when the patient is awake. Excessive eating or bloating that could prevent deep breathing should be avoided. In addition, controlled breathing exercises and coughing should be encouraged.
Movement is crucial to maintaining a healthy digestive system and colon. Patients who are confined to beds may not exercise enough, which can lead to constipation. Stool (feces) passes through the colon and rectum and leaves the body more slowly when people stay in bed and are less active. Constipation is, therefore, more likely to happen. Additionally, patients may be taking medications (such as certain painkillers) that lead to constipation.
Medical experts recommend that patients drink a lot of water, add extra fiber to their meals or take fiber supplements, and maintain a regular toileting schedule (if their doctor recommends).
4.Loss Of Appetite
Patients who are confined to beds could feel drowsy and lose their appetite. They might also not be as hungry since they exert less physical effort, or they might even be afraid of going to the bathroom and turning down food.
Find out the patient's reason for not eating. Please consult a doctor for advice on ensuring they receive the necessary calories and nutrients. Due to boredom or a lack of stimulation, they may have lost interest in eating and other things. By keeping them engaged and interested in a range of activities, you can encourage them to regain their interest in eating.
Prolonged periods in one posture can put pressure on the vertebral column, leading to back pain. To prevent stress on the spine, make sure the person is periodically moved.
6.Weak Bones And Muscles
Muscles deteriorate when they are not used. A prolonged period of inactivity can cause stiffness in the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that surround the joints. A contracture is the continuous bending or shortening of muscles or tight joints that occurs over time.
Furthermore, bones weaken and are more prone to fractures when they do not bear weight regularly (i.e., when someone does not spend much time standing, walking, or doing any physical task). However, maintaining muscle tone and mobility can be achieved largely by providing support for the limbs and engaging in both active and passive exercise.
7.Lack Of Sleep
Sleep issues are frequent in bedridden patients because they may develop an irregular sleep pattern, lack physical activity, or experience pain from being in uncomfortable positions for an extended period of time. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule for patients, engage them in daily active and passive exercises, and check that they are dozing off in a variety of relaxed postures.
Many patients with serious illnesses who spend much time in bed develop depression. The feeling of being a burden, a sense of helplessness, the loss of autonomy, the lack of social connection, and other factors might lead bedridden patients to experience depression. It is vital to attend to patients' emotional and mental health needs and let them feel they are still a part of their community.
In short, bedridden people are most likely to develop medical conditions such as bedsores, digestive issues, back pain, bone and muscle weakness, and depression, among others. However, you must change the position of patients regularly, use Medical Sheepskins or Merino wool overlays over the sheets, give them a balanced diet, involve them in some brain and physical activities, to make them feel comfortable and happy.