As a caregiver, not only are you expected to take care of your patient, parent, or husband or wife, but you also must keep on top of trends in assistive devices. This can be bewildering, because there are so many different types of assistive products on the market designed to provide comfort. Let us break it down for you and make the topic easier to understand.
Caregivers often don’t know about skin issues until these issues have gotten out of control. Skin irritation and dryness is not immediately obvious, especially in areas that are not so visible. Caregivers can help their patients avoid skin irritation and inflammation in the first place by introducing comfortable skinsleeves that hug the forearms and protect fragile skin. For skin that is already damaged, specially formulated healing creams and moisturizers are available which act as a soothing balm for reddened, abraded, and otherwise painful skin.
Another area of concern: achy, painful joints. Traditionally, electric heating pads or hot water bottles have been used, but these are messy and unhygienic. A better, cleaner and more effective solution are MediBeads heat wraps, which are microwavable and do not require water. MediBeads draw ambient water from the atmosphere. They are easily cleanable, and they are impossible to “overcook” in the microwave.
If they don’t sleep well, their level of comfort for the rest of the day is greatly diminished. That’s why bedding assistive devices are so important. One perennial favorite is the knee rest pillow, which elevates knees to a comfortable position. Crescent pillows cradle the head; heel pillows protect and soothe injured or painful feet; and a wide variety of other wedges and specialty pillows help them sleep comfortably and soundly.
When the chair, bed, wheelchair, or toilet are not comfortable enough, specialty cushions save the day. For almost any need, there is a polymer cushion to meet that need. These non-allergenic cushions move with your patient or spouse, reducing pressure sores.
Wheelchairs are designed for generic users, not for specific patients. So, if your patient or parent has a special need, you need to accessorize the chair to take care of that need. Patients often feel unsteady in the chairs, so side supports and wing backs can help by gently “hugging” them and positioning them upright. Arms rest more comfortably on soft lateral arm supports than on those spindly, cold wheelchair arms.