Bedside Care Overview

Bedside care is the act of caring for your loved one who is no longer able to leave their bed. There can be many reasons and aspects to this care. For most people, this is an end of life situation and can be fraught with emotional difficulty. Being prepared on some of the most common aspects of bedside care can help caregivers cope better.

It is important to understand that there are many challenges to come in caring for your loved one. Mobilizing all the assistance you can get will be very important in helping you provide the very best care possible, and making the time you spend with your elderly loved one a time of peace and contentment, whenever possible. In addition, your local hospice can help you determine the exact needs of your patient. Here are some other considerations to take into account as well-
  • Using the right bed-It can be extremely helpful to have a hospital bed for patient care, when a patient' strength declines, and they are unable to get up on their own. This is due to the fact that hospital beds have mechanisms to raise or lower both the head or foot of the bed, which makes patient comfort easier to maintain. Caregivers should keep in mind that it is common for many patients to resist the idea of using a hospital bed, as many elderly feel that allowing a hospital bed into the home is equivalent to admitting defeat. However, the reality is that when patients have congestive heart failure or respiratory disease, a hospital bed's ability to raise the head of the bed up will greatly help the patient to breathe more easily. Keep in mind that if your loved one refuses to use a hospital bed, it is possible to place cushions (such as might be used in couches) under the mattress to raise the head of the bed up and help the patient breathe more comfortably. Side rails may be purchased which can be secured in place by placing a part under the mattress. It is also important to keep the bottom bed sheets flat and smooth, which will help your loved one to be comfortable. Caregivers should understand that wrinkles in the bed, or any debris will irritate the skin, and cause discomfort as well as injury to the skin.

  • Understand that emotional changes can be happening-Some patients become quite restless and agitated the longer they have been bedridden. Patients may also become quite anxious and seemingly nothing you do can help them calm down. This type of agitation is known as terminal restlessness, and is a major symptom which needs to be controlled for your loved one's safety and well-being. Experienced hospice nurses know that such a patient, if left alone for even a moment, may get up out of bed and fall, or injure himself. While the attending physician will order medications which will help to calm your loved one down and relieve the agitation it can also be helpful to install sidebars and even restraints for your loved one’s safety.
The products and other items you may need can be found at They offer a wide variety of bed rails, personal care products, and other items, to assist in the bedside care of your loved one. Their knowledgeable specialists can help you determine what you will need in order to give the highest quality care possible to your loved one who is no longer able to leave their bed. Remember, that bedside assistance is all about providing the highest degree of comfort and loving care to your elderly parent or patient.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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