Saturday, 9 February 2013

Help our Elders and Nursing Staff

The Nursing profession are often under a lot of pressure by their Managers, Care Plan team and over all Directors but often we can help their situation and ease their job by offering to help with some of the care of our relatives. It is of course hoped that the recent Media coverage will allow the 'on the Ground' Staff to dedicate more 'one to one' time with each patient - but I fear this might take time to filter through.

In the meantime we have all been hearing about the issues with the way some Elderly individuals are looked after in some nursing homes. . . . and how sad this is, especially when each and every one of these special people have all been respected, often held important positions, have often been loving parents and Grand parents in their past.

If you have someone you love in a home and discover their eyes are crusty, their skin scaly and dehydrated, their skull dry and cracky, you, as a Member of the family could take a long some baby wipes, gentle moisturiser and even some shaving foam to give them that little bit of extra care that they would have been automatically able to do themselves in years gone by. If you mention to the staff you would like to give your Dad or Mum a little tlc first then it wont make the staff feel quite so 'guilty'. Sometimes it will encourage the staff to do the same.

Perhaps take a long a wee thermos of tea, good quality tea, or make a point of having a cup of tea, or some water while you are with them, so that you can also make sure that they have a wee drink or sip with you.

You can even offer, on the odd occason, to take in some real soup, although liquidize it first. Make sure you put in lots of greens like broccoli, flat green cabbage, a few GREEN chillies and some garlic.

A man always feels 100% better after they have had a shave or when their hair feels neat and well kept, if you feel you would like to give your Dad a shave or feel that you do a better job than the staff, (nine times out of ten) if asked I am sure the staff would be more than happy be relieved of this job. Often throw away razers are used - creating nipping and discomfort resulting in the Patient reacting,sometimes negatively, to every mornings offer of a shave - can't say I would blame them especially if there is a chance of being nipped each time, now this doesn't happen all the time but it can so to be given a shave with a good quality razor is a wonderful treat for them.

If your relative is in the unfortunate position of not being able to eat or drink some Nurses suggest placing a bit of pineapple in between their lips, although refreshing pineapple is quite acidic and can initiate small blisters. Buy some yellow pears a few days before and ripen them by placing them in brown paper. Take two pears with you and slice them into thin slices and place them between the lips, hold them though so that the patient doesn't swallow them.

Orange juice is also quite acidic and can be too strong for their system. So if you plan to take along some juice take some pear juice (you can buy clear diluting sugar free pear juice). Or mix up two wonderfully healthy fruits - yellow pear and raspberry -

If your relative has a catheter and you discover it is dark yellow -this can often indicate a lack of fluid going in to their systems so before you leave, make sure they have had something to drink via a beaker or straw -

The other area sometimes often missed is the care of teeth. If you take a close look sometimes you can see food stuck between each tooth on the denture, if you see this then just about guaranteed when you take the Dentures out they will be filled with food spoil. Perhaps another suggestion, if you can handle it or know how to take their Dentures out ( you can ask Staff to guide you in the first instance) give them a good clean with some 'active' toothpaste. This not only totally refreshes their mouth but also helps to shift the nasal discharge. Often when we clean our own teeth we automatically want to blow our nose afterwards - this is because of the effect of the mint - similar to the effect after having a curry!

Humans are brought up, nine time out of ten, to eat with each other ' Social eaters'- but given a hospital situation and a bed ridden patient they often resist from eating - if this is the case, ask the staff if you could perhaps sit with them one time so that the natural ability to eat in that situation can be encouraged - the staff can only say No. If you are lucky enough to have this relative in a side room then this possibility of eating with them is greater. Make sure you eat at the same speed as the patient though . . .

Don't let our respective Elders suffer - they truly don't deserve it.

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