Amid a global pandemic, our healthcare professionals have had to adjust how procedures are performed and how they interact with families and patients. For one, to minimize contact and the spread of COVID-19, there has been a significant rise in virtual care and telehealth. Now, fewer people can enter a patient’s room, and this does not only applies to family members but also the healthcare professionals in the room with a patient. For caregivers and nurses, caring for bed-bound patients dealing with incontinence, limiting the amount of time in the patient’s room can be difficult.
How those in the hospital are affected
Since the pandemic began, there’s been a nationwide spike in CAUTIs (Cather-associated Urinary Tract Infection). This spike is due to hospitals applying catheters to patients who are in the hospital due to COVID-19. More patients are catheterized because many of the patients affected are typically too weak to use the restroom.
A way to reduce CAUTIs and keep been comfortable is by incorporating the QuickChange Wrap since it is less invasive, easy to change, and holds 500cc’s of urine. Since these patients can also be affected by urinary and bowel incontinence, the QCW can be combined with briefs or a diaper to keep urine and feces from pooling, which can wreak havoc on the patient’s skin. The QCW is an excellent way to reduce the time nurses need to be in the room with a patient without risking CAUTI due to catheterization. By minimizing the risk of CAUTI, we keep the patient comfortable and their skin protected by reducing the amount of time that a healthcare professional needs to be in the room to address the problem.
Nursing Homes and at Family Member Caregivers
During these times, many family members have felt it necessary to bring loved ones home from nursing homes to protect them from contracting COVID at the facility. On the same note, families have also stopped having caregivers come to their homes for the same reason. By bringing their loved ones home, family members are finding themselves acting as caregivers. Often this can mean managing everyday tasks such as bathing, medication reminders, preparing meals, and changing them.
In some cases, people have additional family members and friends help out, but many find themselves becoming the sole caregiver for their loved ones. Many family members have reported anxiety and exhaustion as they adapt to caring for their loved ones during these difficult times.
An added stressor of the pandemic that has drastically changed is how we can socialize with family members, friends, and neighbors. All the unknowns and changes can affect both the caregiver and the person in their care. However, there are steps that you can take to ease the stress and anxiety. The steps we suggest are beneficial for the patient and for the caregiver to reduce isolation, distress, and boredom.
4 Ways to Ease Stress and Anxiety
- Maintain a routine: without structure, it can be easy just to let the day unfold, but a routine is essential to maintain your physical and wellbeing. Mealtimes, hours of work, time to connect with family and friends, setting time aside for hobbies, relaxing, and exercise are critical. Routine gives us a sense of comfort and normalcy. Ensuring that the caregiver and the loved one being cared for have a routine helps ease some of the anxiety; this is especially important for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Keep in touch with loved ones: whether it is carved out time to spend together safely, setting up phone calls, facetime, or writing letters to keep in touch with family and friends.
- Move your body daily: this one is more for the caregiver, but movement is essential. Moving your body doesn’t have to mean a rigorous exercise, just stretching or taking short walks. Activity boosts energy while reducing stress and tightness in the body.
- Stock up: ensuring that you have the necessary household supplies ranging from groceries to medication and other goods doesn’t need to be stressful. Many stores provide services that deliver all the essentials, and several companies offer subscription services, so you don’t have to worry about reordering.