Patients who are either incontinent or are unable to perform their personal care due to a disability should have caregivers who are able to assist them. One task that requires the assistance of a caregiver or another able-bodied person is in changing the diapers of a bedridden patient.
Some find this a menial task but surely, there are techniques that can be used to ensure that the patient remains comfortable and that the caregiver exerts the smallest amount of effort.
If the task needs to be performed, the caregiver should begin by gathering all the materials needed. Completing all the things that are needed before going into the room of the patient saves time and energy of having to go back and forth to retrieve needed items.
Examples of the things that you need are adult wipes, clean latex gloves, waste receptacle, and of course adult diapers. You may need more items as your specific situation requires.
Maintain the patient’s privacy by placing drapes around where there are other individuals in the room.
Before touching anything, you need to wear your latex or rubber gloves. You need to protect yourself from diseases that can be spread through body fluids. The gloves should fit well so that you can do the task effectively and without any delay.
After donning on gloves, you then remove the patient’s pants and underwear if he or she is still wearing one. Remove the tapes of the diapers that the patient is already wearing. Then, you position the patient in order to remove the soiled diapers. If possible, ask for help from another person. Turn the patient on one side with one arm kept at the side and another one placed at the chest.
Ensure the patient’s safety by making sure that he or she stays at the center of the bed. If you have help with you, each person should be positioned on opposite sides of the bed.
Roll or fold the diapers taking care not to soil the bed linens especially if the patient has had a bowel movement.
Cleaning the patient’s skin will be your next task. You will need the wipes to remove urine or feces that have made contact with the skin. Thorough cleaning is necessary to avoid complications such as bed ulcers and infections of the skin. Lift the buttocks and the legs if necessary in order to properly clean the area.
Avoid applying powder or lotion at the area as they may only clog the pores and irritate the skin. However, it is recommended that you apply prescribed creams or lotions that are purposefully for prevention or treatment of skin ulcers.
You may leave the skin to dry for several minutes before you apply new diapers. This will help refresh the skin. Then, apply the clean diapers while the patient is still on a side lying position. After that, you can make the patient lie on his or her back. Fasten the tapes of the diapers and make sure that the patient is comfortable with how it fits.