Senior individuals have specific needs considering their physical and mental state. This includes limited movement, weakened extremities, poor vision, and declining cognitive skills. As much as older people need companionship and support, they also need special care in going through their daily activities.
So, how can you take good care of an elderly patient? What are the essential items every personal caregiver has to be equipped with when nursing for a senior family member?
In this article, you will know the essential things you should prepare when caring for the elderly to provide excellent quality senior patient care.
Your supply of grooming products should comprise of shampoo, conditioner, comb, nail clipper, ear cleaner, lotion, and any type of additional skin moisturizer. As long as you have these grooming supplies, your patient is always ready for sprucing up. Besides, seniors do not need fancy items, so basic products will do.
Always prioritize safety when choosing hair care brands. This may be surprising, but indeed, baby shampoo is highly suggested for older people to prevent eye irritation. Also, it would be best to select a detangling spray or leave-in conditioner rather than buying the standard conditioner. This is because the latter will need a second rinse in the shower or sink, which may result in undue fatigue, a slip, or a fall accident.
It is common for older people to experience urinary incontinence – an involuntary urine leakage. According to AgingCare, at least 1 out of 10 people (65 years old and above) deals with incontinence. And the symptoms range from mild leaking of urine to chronic uncontrollable wetting.
Urge incontinence or overactive bladder among older people can be due to a stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, or injuries. Prostate enlargement in older men and pelvic floor atrophy in older women can also lead to an overactive bladder. That is why it is also essential to put protective underwear in your supply list when caring for a senior family member or patient.
Seniors usually take multiple medications throughout the day, so it is important to be always prepared – this is not to miss out on any medication schedules. Letting your senior patient take proper medicines at the right time interval is vital for treating their conditions and managing symptoms. Hence, medication management for geriatric patients is crucial.
Here are some tips for safe medication management:
- Gather all vitamins, supplements, medications, and over-the-counter (OTC) meds into one location.
- Be sure to store the medicines properly.
- Make sure that the medication instructions are clear.
- Set-up a medication reminder and tracking system.
- Create and maintain an updated medication checklist.
- Pre-sort medications for the week.
- Plan for medication refills.
Massage and Relaxing Therapy Supplies
Geriatric patients need to stay active, along with the need for proper massage and body relaxation. You can stockpile essential oils like eucalyptus ointment and lavender oil, which you can use for relaxing massage and aromatherapy. Seniors want to be pampered and need meditation for improving their sense of wellbeing.
First Aid Kit
Last but not least, it is essential to prepare for bodily injuries and other medical emergencies when you are taking care of an older adult. Seniors are susceptible to physical injuries since they have thinner skin and brittle bones. This is the reason why a minor or non-life threatening injury requires particular care by keeping an updated first aid kit for seniors.
The appropriate content of your patient’s first aid kit solely depends on their health or current medical condition. You need to reach out to your senior patient’s physician to know this, which will help you determine the additional home care and medical tools that the elderly might need – such as a glucometer, blood pressure monitor, or an epinephrine injector.
Furthermore, do not forget to include pieces of relevant information like contact numbers (physician’s and pharmacy’s), medical forms, and a list of medications. We made a list of essential things that should be included in the first aid kit for your patient. See them below:
- scissors or shears
- cotton swabs
- adhesive bandage
- adhesive tape
- calamine lotion
- hydrocortisone cream
- cold compress
- fever reducer
- hand sanitizer
- face mask
The last three items are hard to find in local markets and online stores nowadays due to the decrease in supply worldwide, but you can get your high-quality supplies here at linkhubs.com.
It is essential to prepare all the necessary items that your senior patients need, including medications, protective underwear, and first aid kit. Moreover, you should select the ideal grooming products to improve their sense of wellbeing. It is also vital to take into consideration the psychological wellness of your patient by giving massages and providing relaxation therapy.