Caring for a person who is bedridden requires considering many aspects of everyday life that most people take for granted. Things that an able-bodied person might not even think about, such as sitting up in the morning, are inaccessible to a person who is confined to their bed. So the first step with caring for a bedridden client is always empathy.
Quality caregiving services take the feeling of empathy one step further by putting it into action. Caregivers can use empathy as a tool to think outside the box (or in this case, a bed) and come up with creative ways to enrich their clients’ lives.
5 Unique Activities for Bedridden Clients
Of course, activities such as personal hygiene and range of motion exercises are standard with in-home care services. Quality caregivers will go beyond the baseline services and incorporate unique activities that will help clients retain a sense of dignity and even independence. Here are five activities that will help add a little joy to the day:
Listening to Music or Singing
Music has a way of bringing people together. Listening to favorite songs is a comforting pastime and can be a soothing experience. Caregivers who sing to their clients create connection and a shared, interactive experience. For clients who have challenges with the function of language, music can be especially beneficial as a means of communication because it is a pre-verbal and sometimes non-verbal brain function. This is why music therapy has high success rates with people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Positive results will show up through increased eye contact, changes in facial expression, vocal activity, and physical movement.
Companion Animal Therapy
There are many stories from animal therapy organizations of people who overcame challenges, such as not having spoken in months or finally breaking into a smile, when they were within the presence of an animal. While in-home animal therapy services are not always available, depending on the location it may be possible to arrange an in-home visit from an animal friend. Pet visitations assist in fostering socialization, providing comfort, increasing responsiveness, and enhancing awareness.
There are numerous benefits of playing games and there are options available to all people, regardless of their medical condition. In-home caregivers can work with the senior in their care to determine which games are the best fit and which will be the most successful in improving cognitive function. Playing cards is ideal because it provides something tactile and familiar for seniors with dementia. Playing a memory-based card game is also a social activity that can help decrease symptoms of depression and loneliness. Memory games also exercise different areas of the brain, helping seniors to be more focused and alert.
Audio Books and Story Times
In-home caregivers can entertain and engage clients through audio books and story times. This activity can have different levels of interaction, depending on the cognitive ability of the client. Caregivers and clients can read books together, listen to audio books, or the caregiver can read to the client. Podcasts are a great option, too! Find audio books online at the public library or on publisher websites. Podcasts can be found online as well or through mobile applications. Stories have powerful effects — reading and just listening to stories has been shown to improve sleep, delay cognitive decline, and increase happiness.
Conversations with Loved Ones
Technology has made communicating with loved ones more accessible than ever before. In-home caregivers can facilitate video meetings, phone calls, or even help clients set up and learn how to use social media platforms. Talking with loved ones regularly is critical for well-being. For clients who have low cognitive abilities and are non-verbal, conversations with loved ones may seem one-side but studies show they make a difference in improving quality of life. Staying socially connected has a protective effect against all kinds of physical and mental health problems.
If you’re an in-home caregiver or a family caregiver providing care for a loved one, we hope these suggestions for creative activities help!
Hire a Quality In-Home Caregiver
With personalized care plans, Alegre Home Care provides individuals with the ability to age or recover from the comfort of their own home. Our caregivers in San Francisco and the surrounding areas receive the best training and attend to each person with compassion, empathy, and respect. Receiving care at home begins with a phone call and a free consultation. We provide what’s best for you — Alegre Home Care can help you from as little as a 1.5 hour visit, to 24 hour care or even full time live-in care services. Contact us here or call 800-598-4777.