Another option to help with the daily transition is to install a hospital-type bed, one that raises and lowers both the head and foot areas with the touch of a remote control. The idea of having a hospital bed at home can be an unpleasant thought, but it may mean the difference between being able to stay at home versus moving to an assisted living facility. Under the right circumstances, the motorized bed may be covered by Medicare as a medical expense if ordered by a physician.
If you find your parent is spending a good deal of time in bed, check into a pressure sensitive mattress. The last thing you want is the development of pressure ulcers (sometimes called pressure sores), which occur when the skin breaks down in areas from constant pressure against a surface, even a soft surface such as a bed or chair.
Pressure Guard® makes a series of specialized mattresses for preventing and managing pressure ulcers. Their Turn Select mattress slowly (very, very slowly) maneuvers your parent into different positions to minimize the effects of immobility on the skin.
Surprisingly, extended periods of simply sitting in a chair may lead to pressure sores. As long as movement is possible, encourage your parent to move as much as practical, at an activity level that is comfortable for him or her. Make sure the skin is examined carefully on a regular basis so any sores may be treated as quickly as possible. Bath time may be a good choice, if you (or another caregiver assisting with the bathing) can inspect without causing embarrassment to your parent.
Don’t rely on asking your parent if he is experiencing this type of condition; he may not even be aware of it due to reduced feeling in certain areas. Or, to avoid an uncomfortable examination, he may deny anything is wrong.
Pressure ulcers are a serious health complication that can cause pain and result in a slower recovery from other issues.