What to Watch for When a Loved One Is Immobilized
The Harmful Effects of Immobility
Your loved one may have been knocked out of commission for a while due to a fall or medical procedure, or they may become progressively more immobile due to injury, illness, or old age.
No matter the reason for your loved one’s immobility, one of the best things you can do for them is keep an eye on them. Remaining still for an extended period of time can cause serious health complications for your loved one, especially if they are completely bed-ridden.
However, you can help them prevent unnecessary residual damage by watching for signs of the following:
- Decubitus ulcers: Also commonly referred to as “bed sores,” these are areas where the skin has broken or been damaged as a result of sustained pressure from a chair or bed. These tend to occur on the buttocks, shoulder blades, elbows, heels, and the back of the head, though they can occur virtually anywhere on the body. Aside from signaling a problem in blood flow, bed sores increase your loved one’s likelihood of infection and disease, making immediate treatment imperative.
- Indigestion and nausea: During periods of immobility, the body’s metabolism slows down, making the exchange of nutrients less efficient and reducing the body’s ability to properly digest. Being malnourished can cause your loved one to feel nauseated and sick, potentially prolonging their season of immobility and increasing their susceptibility to other ancillary health problems.
- Pneumonia: Laying down or sitting still for long periods of time can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, leading to an elevated likelihood of infection, which could cause pneumonia. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if your loved one begins coughing, wheezing, or showing other signs of labored breathing or fluid in the lungs.
There are many more problems immobility can create. In fact, health issues created by immobility tend to snowball and create a cluster of health issues that are bound to keep your loved one sedentary for much longer, increasing their risk of complication and death. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.
You can begin protecting your loved one even before they exhibit potential signs of immobility-induced health problems by connecting them with an attentive, compassionate in-home care provider.
Do You Need Extra Help Monitoring Your Loved One’s Health? Call At Home Healthcare Today at (877) 959-9093.
At Home Healthcare can help you ensure your loved one is meeting important in-home physical therapy milestones, regularly adjust their position in order to avoid pneumonia and bedsores, and routinely evaluate whether they are receiving adequate nutrition to sustain them and help preserve their ability to perform normal physical functions unassisted.
We may be able to help you counter the effects of immobility. Call (877) 959-9093 to learn more about our in-home care options in Texas.