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Personalize Elderly Care

Most people today must face the reality that someday they will be living in a long- term nursing facility. Many feel as though it is just a place in which to die. They can no longer have independence, self esteem or a quality life; however, if those who choose to work in this type of environment have as their goals, the residents’ best interests, many come to accept the changes in their lives, and actually learn to enjoy their surroundings.

As a nursing assistant I learned to care for the residents in a way that allowed them to retain their pride, helped them to make the transition while continuing to feel as though they were special people who still have a lot to give.

One of my most difficult tasks was to aid the residents in keeping up their appearance. Their cleanliness was of utmost importance to me. There are many necessary steps to this process. Because most of the people are fragile, the assistant must take special precautions to ensure the residents’ safety.

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Since older people are more sensitive to hot and cold, the water temperature must be carefully checked and monitored. Usually, the most comfortable temperature for bathing is between 105 and 110 degrees F. It must be checked with a thermometer; however, the thermometer should not be the only test; the aid should always personally test the water temperature by using the inside of the wrist to check the comfort level. . The residents could also be asked to test the water.

Because slipping and falling are common risks for the older resident, all showers and tubs should be equipped with grab bars, non-skid surfaces, and emergency cell buttons. The residents must receive instruction relative to using the grab bars and the emergency call button to summon help.

Unless residents have demonstrated that they are totally independent while bathing, they should never be left unattended.

To protect the skin from irritation, all soap should be completely rinsed and the skin dried thoroughly. Lotion may be used on rough areas that have been cleansed and dried.

Bathing is a very personal activity which most people do in private; therefore, it is important to remember this fact when assisting. The assistant must calmly explain what is going to take place. The door should be closed, or the curtains around the areas should be closed to provide privacy.

If residents are able to transfer and sit on a chair, the shower is the preferred method of bathing. A shower chair should be provided to eliminate the need for prolonged standing, while at the same time reducing the risk of falling.

Resident Assistants should refer to the follow steps to ensure proper care

1. Assemble the bathing equipment on a shelf or regular chair near the shower towel, soap, wash cloth, shower cap, and cleaning cloth.

. Take the shower chair and a large sheet to the resident’s bedside.

. Explain to the resident what you will be doing, wash your hands and provide privacy.

4. Remove the resident’s clothes and transfer the resident to the shower chair, making sure the wheels are locked.

5. Cover the resident, making sure that the entire body including the buttock area and limbs are covered.

6. Unlock the wheels and quickly transport the resident to the shower area.

7. Turn on and adjust the temperature of the water.

8. Give the resident soap and a wash cloth and encourage the resident to wash and rinse as much as possible. Assist when it is necessary. If you wash the perineal area or face, put gloves on first.

. Turn off the water.

10. Assist in drying thoroughly.

11. Assist with dressing.

1. Return to the shower, clean it and remove any soiled linen.

1. Dispose of gloves, if you are wearing them, and wash your hands.

Nursing Assistant Book (took steps from)

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