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«This guide is not intended to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opin- ion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. ...»

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This guide is not intended to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opin-

ion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this guide, Sage

Products provides general information for educational purposes only.

The information provided in this guide is not a substitute for medical or profes-

sional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consulta-

tion or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

Sage Products is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diag- nosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this guide.

Introduction It takes courage to be a caregiver. Providing care for someone can be emotionally and physically draining. You may feel stressed or alone.

You may not know what to expect. It is important for you to know that there is a great deal of support for you and your loved one.

This booklet offers tips for some common caregiving tasks. It may seem like a lot of information at once—try not to be overwhelmed. You may work closely with a home care aide or companion. Reach out if you have questions.

The care needed will be different for everyone. Your healthcare pro- vider will help you figure out what your loved one needs and may give you tips that are not listed. Use the blank spaces and margins in this booklet to write special notes your healthcare provider gives you.

We hope this booklet will help you build confidence as a caregiver.

Use it as a tool. Fold page corners or use colored markers to highlight important information. Keep the booklet with you until you feel com- fortable. When you feel confident, you can give better care.

Important Information Important Information For: ____________________________________________

Nickname: __________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________


Phone: ____________________________________________________________

Date of Birth: _____________________________________

1 Important Contact Information Phone Fax Account/ Other Important Category Name/Business Address Number(s) Number Policy Number Information Emergency General Practice Optometrist Ophthalmologist Dentist Lawyer Accountant Veteran’s Group Safe Deposit Box Allergies and Conditions Medication (see Medication Emergency Treatments or Other Allergies/Conditions Signs/Symptoms Tracker for dosage)

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Daily Activities …...…………


Mouth Care

Bathroom Activities

Incontinence Care

Bathing and Personal Care

Getting Dressed

Movements and Transfers

Improving Quality of Life

6 Dignity If your loved one can no longer do the tasks they once could, it’s likely they may depend on you a lot more these days. You might feel like it’s easier to just take charge and make decisions. But it’s important to always treat your loved one with respect.

When caring for your loved one, you want to protect their dignity (or sense of self worth). Imagine if your independence was taken away.

You would no longer be able to drive, walk, or get out of bed. You would have to rely on someone for tasks that used to be easy. How would you feel?

You would probably be frustrated. You might feel depressed over the loss of freedom. You’d most likely want to keep control over as much as you could.

Preserving Dignity—What you can do for loved ones:

Learn about their condition. Contact the doctor for information. This  can prepare you for what’s ahead.

Contact your healthcare provider if your loved one has dementia.

 Dementia is a disease that causes serious loss of memory, attention, speech, and other functions. Special care may be needed.

Put yourself in their place. Think about how you would want to be  treated if you were the one receiving care.

Think of yourself as a “helper” instead of a “doer.” Help them by  encouraging some independence and self-sufficiency. Remember that they are not an infant.

Give positive feedback when they complete tasks independently.

 Talk openly and honestly. Be a good listener.

 Be flexible. When possible, make changes that allow for reasonable  requests. Involve them in decisions.

 Notes:

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Bedsores Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, are a common occurrence for people who are confined to the bed. Skin weakens with age and some medical conditions. A person with weak skin who sits or lays in the same place for a long time may get bedsores. Bedsores can be painful and can cause infection.1-3 Since caregivers provide the bulk of care to family members, chances are that you already balance many responsibilities. We know there’s a lot to remember when caring for someone you love. So it’s important to prioritize. Learn how to prevent bedsores, even the ones located on the heel, buttocks or sacrum. Keep a watchful eye on any unusual changes to the skin to help detect a bedsore that may be forming or other skin related issues.


Bedsores—What you can do for loved ones:

If you notice a new bedsore, always report it to your healthcare  provider—for their safety and your peace of mind.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions when monitor ing or treating bedsores.

Bedbound—What you can do for loved ones:

Look for broken skin, red/dark marks or scabs. Tell your healthcare  provider if these marks do not fade even with position changes.

Check to see if they have lost bladder or bowel control. Always keep  them clean and dry.

When confined to a bed for long periods, frequently reposition the  person. If they’re immobilized or can’t move, use pillows to pad knees, elbows, feet, hips, shoulders and tailbone. Refer to the Movement and Transfers section on page 27 of this guide to learn more.

To help prevent the development of bedsores on the heel or sacrum, specialized products—such as a pressure relieving heel protector—may come in handy. Body positioning products are also available for people who are at risk of developing bedsores. Ask your healthcare provider about specialized heel protection and body repositioning products and learn more at ShopSageProducts.com.

Prevalon® Heel Protector Shaped like a boot, the Prevalon® Heel Protector is worn on the foot. The soft cushion inside the heel protector relieves pressure by elevating the heel away from the mattress. Even when moving around in bed, this innovative design keeps the foot in place and away from the mattress—where pressure generally builds up.

Prevalon™ Turn and Position System 2.0 Body positioning products like the Prevalon™ Turn and Position System 2.0 are designed to help you and another caregiver easily turn someone in bed. The system consists of a blue glide sheet, two body wedges and a white Microclimate Body Pad. A padded wedge rests underneath the thighs and the other wedge sits under the sacrum (or lower back) where it relieves pressure. The body pad absorbs wetness and keeps the skin dry—a key design feature that helps protect skin from moisture damage.

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10 Did you know?

Each year, 2.5 million people will suffer a fall and go to the emergency room.4 Oftentimes, poor eyesight, weak muscles or medications affect balance. Unfortunately, falls can cause serious injury, so it’s important to do everything you can to prevent them.

 Notes:

Medications Your loved one might have to take a lot of different medications. Always review the directions with the healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Avoid overdosing or missing doses. Giving medicines correctly will keep your loved one safe and comfortable. To keep track of medications, there is a medication chart on page 4 of this guide.

Managing Meds—What you can do for loved ones:

Keep a list of all medicines, vitamins, etc. Write down who (health care provider) prescribed it; what (prescription name and dose); why (what it does), and when (the time it has to be taken) for each. Bring this list to all healthcare visits. You can use the Medication Tracker on page 4 of this guide.

Give medicine exactly as directed. Always follow the healthcare pro vider’s orders, even if it doesn’t seem like they need the medicine.

This is especially true for pain medicine. Do not crush or cut pills unless told to do so by your healthcare provider.

Find out the side effects of the medicines. For example, pain medicine  may cause itching, nausea or constipation. Many side effects lessen after the body adjusts to the medicine. But when certain symptoms (like constipation) don’t subside, treatment may be required—otherwise it could lead to serious discomfort. Ask your healthcare provider for treatment options.

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Making it work for both of you...

No doubt, some caregiving tasks are embarrassing for both of you.

So it’s important to remember that certain situations, like getting dressed, may be uncomfortable for your loved one.

Keep in mind, it helps when they invite you to assist them with a task. Before giving help, consider asking them, “Mind if I help button your blouse?” This approach helps them feel more in control and allows them to do as much as they can on their own.

Work together to make a care schedule based on their usual routine. Fill out a calendar or post a list for each day. Adjust the schedule accordingly.

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14 Mouth Care Everyone can appreciate the refreshing feeling that comes with a clean mouth and fresh breath. To establish good oral habits, it helps to stick with a consistent daily mouth care routine.

What is mouth care?

It’s a daily ritual that includes brushing the teeth and tongue and flossing in between the teeth for healthy gums. If you wear dentures, it means daily brushing, as well.5 Good oral care also requires regular dental checkups.6 Some people include mouthwash as part of their daily routine.

According to the American Dental Association, mouthwash helps freshen breath while decreasing plaque and tooth decay.7 Dentists suggest brushing teeth in the morning, after eating, in the evening and as needed. Brushing may help to prevent mouth sores, problems with teeth and other discomforts. Good mouth care may also help to prevent infection.

Helpful Mouth Care Tips—What you can do for loved ones:

Help them to the bathroom to brush teeth.

 Let them brush their own teeth, when possible.

 Use a large-handled, soft bristled toothbrush. A foam roller or tape  around the handle may help them grip it more easily.

If your loved one has natural teeth, encourage them to floss daily.

 Gently wipe the mouth clean and pat dry as needed. Use a mouth  moisturizer on the lips and the inside of the mouth to prevent chapping and soothe oral tissue.

Follow the same cleaning schedule for dentures. Check dentures  often for damage. Store them properly when not in use.

If your loved one is bedbound and can’t brush on their own, follow the steps on the next page.

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16 Has your doctor recommended the use of suctioning tools as part of the daily oral care routine? If so, you might consider Sage brand suction oral care products to care for your loved ones. You have the choice between single-use (disposable) systems or swabs that connect directly to standard suction tubing. Sage also provides other oral care systems, including non-suction oral care products.

Q•Care® Continue Care™ Oral Cleansing and Suctioning Systems These products are ideal for people with difficulty expectorating, or spitting. They are also useful after a stroke, when swallowing sometimes becomes difficult—which could be a risk factor for developing pneumonia. These oral care products are intended for people who are not on ventilators. This system contains all the oral care tools you need for the day including the toothbrush and oral rinse solution.

 Notes:

Bathroom Activities Your loved one may lose the ability to control their bowel or bladder function, and may need your help using the bathroom. Sometimes bladder and bowel changes occur because of a disease progression or from various medications that cause incontinence.

Helping them with toileting can be uncomfortable for both of you.

We’ve outlined a few things to keep in mind as you help someone in the restroom.

! SAFETY NOTE: Contact the doctor if you notice an increased loss of bowel or urinary control. It could be a sign of infection. Sometimes incontinence can be treated. Your healthcare provider may be able to give you treatment options.

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4. To place a bedpan underneath someone, ask the person you are caring for to lift their hips again. Support the lower back with one hand and slide the bedpan in place underneath the buttocks.

5. If they are unable to lift their hips, roll your loved one to one side.

Put the bedpan on the bed pad, next to the buttocks. Carefully roll them onto the bedpan, holding the bedpan in place under their buttocks.

! SAFETY NOTE: When rolling your loved one on their side, raise the side rails at the side of the bed to help prevent a fall.

6. If possible, help them into a sitting position to use the bedpan.

Prop them up with pillows or raise the bed to assist them in sitting over the bedpan. If possible, ask them to bend their knees to make sitting over the bedpan easier.

7. When they are finished, help them to lay flat. To remove the bedpan, have them roll to one side or simply roll them off the bedpan—whichever way is easier. Hold the bedpan carefully to avoid tipping or spilling the contents. Put the bedpan on the floor and cover it with a towel.

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