Caregiver in Irvine CA
As a family caregiver for your elderly adults you are likely to encounter the need for one of your parents to receive an IV at some point in your care journey. While this is not the most pleasant of events, it does not have to be daunting. With the right preparation and attitude, you can help your parents face getting an IV with greater confidence and work with the medical staff to receive this type of treatment safely and comfortably.
January 25 is IV Nurse Day, a fantastic opportunity for you to empower your parents to handle their IV treatments safely and responsibly, and to thank the medical professionals in their lives that do so much to help them stay healthy.
Use these tips to help your parents handle IV treatments better as you celebrate IV Nurse Day:
• Understand the need. Fear and anxiety are always increased when you are not sure what is happening. If your parents are going to need an IV and you have the opportunity and time to explain it to them, make sure that you thoroughly discuss why they need the IV, the goal of the treatment, and the process. Even if they have received several of these treatments in their life, go through with them again how it will be administered and what they may feel throughout the course of the treatment. If they have questions, do your best to answer them or defer to the medical team to ensure that your parents feel absolutely in control when the treatment begins.
• Warm packs. If there is time, request a warming pack that you can place over the area where the medical professionals will insert the IV. Five minutes of direct warmth will bring the veins closer to the surface and expand them slightly, making it easier for the technician to insert the needle and giving more room for the actual apparatus to sit so that it feels more comfortable.
• Hydrate. If you know that your parent will receive an IV that day or the following day, focus on giving him plenty of water. When the body is well-hydrated, the veins are easier to access and the skin is easier to penetrate. Some studies have also indicated that being well-hydrated also reduces the experience of pain.
• Talk to them. Distract the parent getting the IV by talking throughout the experience. This will not only discourage any combative behavior that he may have, but will also reduce the pain he feels.
• Keep him calm. If your parent copes with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and has combative tendencies, make sure that you let the nurse know this before she gets started. Follow through with your usual coping mechanisms and do your best to keep him calm throughout the experience. Getting agitated will only require a longer time and could cause several sticks as well as other damage. Preparing the medical team ahead of time can allow them to make special arrangements, such as having more than one person in the room to hold your parent, or giving a mild sedative before the procedure.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Irvine, CA or the surrounding Orange County areas, please call us at 949-535-2211. We provide senior care services in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo and surrounding areas of Orange County California. Contact us today to learn more.