Paralysis is the medical condition where a person experiences loss of muscle function in the body, and as a result, suffers from loss of any feeling in the affected part. It can either affect one side of the body, known as hemiplegia, or both sides of the body, known as diplegia. While paralysis can be caused due to various reasons, the most common reasons for the same are any form of injury to the spinal cord or head, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Paralysis patient care at home is a good way of caring for your loved one while also helping them feel comfortable and connected to the family. If you are caring for a loved one at home who is suffering from paralysis, it is very important to keep in mind the various aspects that would aid in taking care of paralysis patients. Here are some of the most important things & diet for paralysis patients you need to keep in mind when caring for a home patient.
Hygiene And Overall Body Care
When a person suffers from paralysis, it can become increasingly difficult to look after personal hygiene and take care of various body care functions. Depending on the parts of the body that are affected, your loved one may require assistance in carrying out various bodily functions on a daily basis.
- On an everyday basis, make sure you move the patient every two hours or so so that there is no risk of any formation of bedsores. If your loved one is not comfortable with making a complete change in posture, help them move from left to right, or assist them to gently get into a sitting up position for some time after lying down for long.
- Look for pressure sores even if your loved one has not complained about it yet. These often form around the waist, hips, shoulder, back and thigh areas, especially if the patient is not very mobile. As the name suggests, a pressure sore is formed when there is constant pressure on a particular part of the body. This happens mostly when the patient does not change position regularly. It is easy to miss spotting pressure sores, but if they are left untreated, it could serious complications later.
- Depending on how much your loved one can move, make sure you help the patient change into fresh clean clothes each day, and if required, multiple times in the day. For the night, help the patient get into something loose and comfortable that will enable them to sleep better and get enough rest.
- Change the bed linen every day. Often, if the patient does most of the things on the bed, such as eating and passing urine, and spends a lot of time in bed, it is possible that the linen gets dirty with spills and such. It is important to change it each day to avoid any risk of infection.
- Look after basic everyday hygiene needs such as passing urine and stool. If the patient is not able to get out of bed repeatedly, you could assist with a bedpan for passing urine. Try supporting the patient until the washroom for when they need to pass stool. There are special washroom wheelchairs available that come designed like a commode seat and can be safely used in the shower.
- Help the patient take a bath each day. In case it is not possible, make sure to keep the person clean by giving a warm sponge bath. Use a mild antibacterial soap and a liquid antibacterial solution to keep infection at bay.
- Take care to assist with basic grooming requirements such as shaving, trimming nails and hair and so on. If you are not comfortable cleaning your loved one around the private areas, you could hire the help of a professional caregiver who will be specially trained to care for bed patients. At Care24, our team of caregivers is equipped to care for those patients who are not able to get out of bed and can help to look after your loved ones with the attention and dignity they deserve.
- Help the patient brush in the morning and once before going to bed. Also, after every meal, help them wash the mouth and if that is not possible, wipe the area clean.
Taking proper care of a patient with paralysis will help them to recover soon.
Moving The Patient
While handling the patient, it is very important to make sure that you move the paralysis patient properly. The doctor will guide you on any tips you need to keep in mind while you help the patient move. If you are using the services of a professional caregiver, the attendant or nurse will know the right way to help the patient move.
There are various mobility aids that can help your loved one move from one place to the other, depending on the overall condition and health of the patient. You can help your loved one move from one place to the other with the aid of a wheelchair, whether manual or automated or with the help of orthoses, which is a type of external device that has to be attached to the leg to help with movement.
- A manual wheelchair will be helpful if the patient has enough strength in the upper body.
- An automated or electric wheelchair will be helpful for a patient who is suffering from paralysis on both sides or does not have enough muscle strength.
- Orthoses are a type of alternative option that can be used in place of a wheelchair. These are a type of braces that are made of either plastic or metal and can help to provide enough strength and support that can facilitate movement.
- While buying a wheelchair, remember to keep the following points in mind. Check the size of the seat as well as the comfort of the cushion. Keep the weight of the wheelchair in mind, especially if you have to move the patient around a lot. Also, check the height of the headrest as well as the height of the seat and the leg and armrest.
What To Eat
Here is a comprehensive diet when it comes to nursing care of paralysis patient. Make sure you check this with the doctor and also keep tips from any other doctor recommended diet plan for paralysis patients in mind. Also, monitor the patient carefully to see if there is any discomfort resulting from a particular type of food.
- Try to make sure that the patient has more warm foods instead of colder foods. It is always best to eat food as fresh as possible. Not only will it be warm, but the patient will also benefit from the nutrition content that is higher in freshly made food rather than stale food or food that has been cooked too long ago.
- Give the patient foods that have more salty, sour and sweet flavors. Avoid those that have a bitter or pungent taste.
- For someone suffering from paralysis, some of the best foods to eat are those that are juicy. Such foods include oranges, sweet lime, peaches, mangoes, and even bananas. Drier fruits such as apples and figs are best given in very small quantities or not at all.
- Some very good vegetables that you should include in the diet for paralysis patient which includes vegetables such as beetroot, carrot, and ladyfinger.
- Red meat is not healthy and is not advisable for anyone, especially for someone who is affected with paralysis. Try to see that the patient avoids eating red meat and pork as much as possible. Instead, let the patient have other meats such as poultry, as well as seafood.
So it suggested to prepare a paralysis food chart. The best healthy food for paralysis patients plays a major role to heal them. Do not forget to ask your doctor to provide a diet. To care for the patient with paralysis does not only need following the proper paralysis diet plan but loving them, taking good care, giving medicine on time, doing the right exercise all these also contribute to taking paralysis patient care.
Provide Emotional Support
For someone who has recently learned that he or she has been affected with paralysis, it can be very difficult coming to terms with reality. Your loved one may find it impossible to believe that this could happen for real. In many cases where a person is diagnosed with paralysis, the first reaction is often of shock and disbelief, followed by depression and self-pity. Anger, frustration and severe mood swings also often are part of this reaction, and in some cases, it can lead to other health issues if the depression is severe and not taken care of in time.
- To make sure that your loved one is not depressed, and to spot the signs and symptoms on time, keep a watch on the following äóñ is your loved one sleeping a lot or suddenly is not able to sleep at all, if there is a sudden change in weight, such as losing weight or gaining a lot of weight, if your loved one seems disinterested in speaking or engaging in activities that were earlier of interest, if your loved one seems quiet and aloof most of the time, if the patient is talking in negative tones and may talk about self-harm or death. In case your loved one has said anything about self-harm or death, please treat it as an emergency and talk about it to the doctor.
- It is possible that your loved one will not show all the signs at once, and even when the signs are there, they can be very mild and difficult to notice. Keep watching for the signs without making it obvious.
- In some cases, depression can also be triggered due to the various medications that your loved one has to take for treating paralysis. If you feel the condition is affecting the patient make sure to speak to the doctor about it and ask if any of the medicines need to be changed.
- Change in weight is a common occurrence for those who are not able to move a lot and spend most of their time in bed or in a wheelchair. In such an instance, your loved one will be more prone to gaining weight than losing it. However, excessive weight gain is not good, as it can create pressure sores and also lead to other health issues. Check with the doctor about exercise options that your loved one can practice at home. In case you notice weight loss in your loved one, pay attention to healthy food for paralysis patients and eating habits and do bring it up with the doctor & with his help, you can prepare a paralysis food chart. At Care24, our trained physiotherapists can offer a customized exercise plan to help your loved one cope better with paralysis.
- It is important to be there for your loved one and to understand their fears and concerns. Be around and talk to the patient as much as you can. Listen and let them vent out. It is possible that your loved one becomes negative and loses all hope, but make sure you keep them updated about the treatment and care and tell your loved one how exercise, eating right and the treatment options can help them cope better.
- Don’t just revolve everything around the topic of paralysis. Make sure that the patient has access to other forms of keeping busy, such as reading, listening to music, watching movies, staying updated with what is happening with other family members and friends and so on. Meeting others and talking about a host of other things will help to take the patient’s mind off the condition and will prevent depression from setting in.
Massage Techniques To Offer Relief
Massage can provide relief to the patient as well as improve blood circulation in the area, which can be good for overall muscle movement and function. Depending on how much the patient is able to move and what is comfortable, it can either be done on the patient’s bed or on the floor on a mat.
A professional massage therapist can assist you properly in using different massage techniques that will benefit the patient. Our team of caregivers and therapists are equipped with the right training and experience and can help provide massage therapy for your loved one. Here are some ways that massage can work for the body.
- The therapist will use a mix of various medicated and natural oils to massage the affected area.
- The type and intensity of the message will depend on the patientäó»s overall health and the level of paralysis. For instance, if only one side of the body is affected, the massage will be of a particular kind. On the other hand, if the patient is suffering from paralysis on both sides of the body, the massage will be different.
Caregiving Care: Tips To Avoid Caregiver Stress
As someone who is providing the most amount of care, the role of a caregiver comes with immense responsibility as well as stress.
- One of the first things you need to keep in mind is that it is not easy to perform the role of a caregiver. Looking after a loved one at home who is suffering from paralysis will take up almost all of your time and energy, especially if you plan to do it all by yourself. While you may feel that no one else can look after the patient as well as you can, it is sometimes advisable to ask for help. You can ask someone from your family to fill in as a caregiver while you get some rest, or hire a professional caregiver. Get in touch with our team to know more about the attendant and caregiver services at Care24.
- Many caregivers suffer from stress and anxiety which can negatively impact the way you care for your loved one. Some of the most common signs of caregiver stress are sudden outbursts or feelings of anger, overreacting to certain situations, feeling guilty or ashamed or feeling inadequate in your caregiving capabilities, trying to take on more responsibilities than you can physically handle and feeling low when you cannot achieve everything, digestive issues, headaches, excessive tiredness, difficulty in falling asleep or feeling sleepy all the time or fluctuation in weight.
- Take time out for yourself to be away from your caring role. You can try simple yet extremely effective methods such as meditation and yoga to stay calm and maintain your peace of mind. Additionally, try doing some form of exercise on a daily basis, such as a quick jog or run.
Important Care Tips
You may get in touch with our team of caregivers and attendants to understand the best possible paralysis patient care you can provide for your loved one at home.
- Make sure to keep a note of everyday happenings related to patientäó»s health and any other information. This will help you give the right information to the doctor on the next visit.
- Write down the information about medicine and dosage and check it each time before you administer a dosage.
- While nursing care of paralysis patient notes that not all require the same type of treatment. Understand the cause and speak to the doctor to know of any specific things that you have to keep in mind while caring for the patient. For instance, some people suffer a paralytic attack after an injury, while some may suffer an attack as a result of some other health issue.