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Using the Right Equipment for Bariatric Care

Posted on: June 14th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, with one in three Americans now being obese. As a result, hospitals and caregiving services are seeing increases in the amount of obese patients they treat or care for. Like any special category of patients, bariatric patients come with their own set of characteristics and challenges. Their heavier weight and higher likelihood to develop skin conditions, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, anxiety, depression, joint pain and limited mobility on top of a more serious medical condition make them harder to care for than non-bariatric patients.

However, knowing the challenges that exist and how to work around them can greatly impact your care of a bariatric patient in positive ways. The easiest way to do this is to use the proper equipment at the right times. Doing this allows for less strain to be placed on both you and your patient. Therefore it is important to have the correct equipment when caring for a bariatric patient.

For moving a patient that still has some weight-bearing ability, crutches, canes (regular and quad-canes), walkers and rollators all provide ambulatory support. If the patient has little to no mobility, transport chairs and patient lifts can support their weight as they are moved around.

Patients that can still get to their own bathroom to shower or bathe will require a transfer bench to get into and out of the shower or tub, as well as shower or tub chairs or benches for an easier and safer experience. These will also help you maneuver them around the bathroom with less difficulty. On the other hand, not all patients will be able to make it to the bathroom, even with assistance. For these situations, commodes located in the bedroom near the patient’s bed will provide with access to a toilet with your assistance.

While very basic, the equipment listed above will help you provide care for bariatric patients whether caregiving is your profession or you are taking care of a loved one. This equipment helps put less strain on yours and your patient’s body, meaning that you can be there for them more often.

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