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Bedridden Patients: Sponge/Bed Bath vs Actual Bath

Hi, if you are a caregiver who is looking after someone who has difficulty bathing himself/herself, you should read this article below. Unless there is enough manpower(such as a nursing home), sponge baths or bed baths are used to bath people who are bedridden or unable to bath on their own due to health reasons. Giving a bed bath involves washing and rinsing the entire body one section at a time while the person remains in bed. It is imperative to gather all the required bathing supplies needed before you begin so you do not have to leave the person unattended. A good bed bath will leave the person feeling comfortable and clean. This is essential for good rest and the prevention of bed sores. Unclean areas always promote bacteria growth and worsen bed sores.
Sponge bath
Step 1: Feel 2 pails with warm water. One is used for washing and the other is for rinsing. Ensure the temperature is comfortably hot. We do not want to scald the person or cause discomfort as some of them cannot even voice out due to certain medical conditions.

Step 2: Choose soap that rinses away easily. Or you can also consider shower foams. Do not use soaps or foams that have exfoliating beads that are difficult to remove if the washing is not thorough. Avoid no-rinse soaps as this will cause residues that are difficult to remove.

Step 3: If shampoo is required, do consider baby shampoos. These persons are like big babies who require our tender loving care and these baby shampoos are apt and gentle enough for them. Try to get an extra shallow basin for washing the hair. If this is not available, we need to get extra towels to prevent the bed from getting too wet.
Step 4: Try to get waterproof disposable drawsheets and place it over the bed to prevent it from getting wet. If this is not available, do put additional towels below.

Step 5: Remove the clothing of the person accordingly and try to be as professional as possible. The person might feel embarrassed.

Step 6: First apply soap or shower foam to the person’s skin. Scrub it gently with a sponge to remove dirt and bacteria. Thereafter, place the sponge in the soapy basin. Dip a second piece of sponge or cloth into the rinsing basin and use it to rinse away the soap. Pat the area dry with another towel. Remember to alternate between the wash and rinse sponges. If they become dirty, switch to clean ones. Change the water in the basins as necessary.

Step 7: Start with the person’s face. Gently wash the person’s face, ears and neck with soapy water. Rinse away the soap with a clean cloth. Dry the cleansed area with a towel.

Step 8: Thereafter, when washing the person’s hair, gently lift their head into the shampooing basin or inflatable basin for hair wash. Wet the hair by pouring water over the person’s head, taking care not to get it in their eyes. Apply shampoo before rinse it away. Pat the hair dry with a towel.

Step 9: When washing the person’s left arm and shoulder, fold over the drawsheet/towels on the left side of the body down to the hip. Place a towel beneath the exposed arm. Wash and rinse the person’s shoulder, underarms, upper arms and hand. Dry the wet areas with a towel accordingly. Dry the washed areas thoroughly, especially the underarms as we need to prevent chafing and bacteria growth.

Step 10: When wash the person’s right arm and shoulder, fold over the sheet to expose the right side. Place the drawsheet/towel beneath the other arm and repeat.

Step 11: When washing the person’s torso, fold the sheet down to the waist and gently wash and rinse the chest, stomach and sides. Be sure to wash carefully among any folds in the person’s skin, as bacteria growth is common there. Towel dry the torso carefully, especially among the folds.

Step 12: When washing the person’s legs, uncover the person’s right leg up to the waist, and wash, rinse and dry the leg and foot. Recover the right leg and uncover the left, then repeat. Towel dry accordingly.

Step 13: Change the water in the pails or basins. Ask the person to roll on their side if they are able to. Assist the person if required. Make sure they are not too close to the edge of the bed.

Step 14: To wash the person’s back and buttocks, fold the sheet over to expose the entire back side of the patient. Wash, rinse and dry the back of the patient’s neck, back, buttocks and parts of the legs you may have missed.

Step 15: When washing the genital area and anus, put on latex gloves if desired. Lift the person’s leg and wash from front to back. Use a clean cloth to rinse the area. Be sure to clean thoroughly between folds, and dry the area thoroughly as well. For males, try to wash behind the testicles. For females, there is no need to clean the vagina, just wash the labia will do.

Step 16: Redress the patient after ensuring the person is towelled dry. When you’re finished, dress the patient in clean clothes or a robe. First replace the patient’s shirt, keeping the sheet over his or her legs. Then remove the drawsheet and wear the person’s underwear and pants. Elderly skin tends to get dry, so you may want to apply moisturising lotion to the arms and legs before putting their clothes back on. Comb the person’s hair and apply cosmetics and other body products according to the patient’s preferences if require.

*You can actually check many youtube videos online on the procedures for a sponge bath. The idea or central principles are the same, just that the steps taken might have some tweaks.
Nursing Home Toilet – Clover Care Centre
There you have it, the steps involved in giving a bed sponge bath. We personally feel that it is better to go for an actual real bath in the toilet. Hence, if the resident is a bedridden, put him/her on a patient trolley or wheelchair and push him/her into the toilet safely. Of course, there must be an additional pair of helping hands for this kind of endeavour. This time round, we use the soap and shower generously. We are of the opinion that this is cleaner and preferred by the residents. Somehow with sponge baths, we don’t think it is really that clean. Do remember to towel dry thoroughly since we are using a higher volume of water this time round. The time taken for both the sponge bed bath and actual real bath in the toilet can more or less be the same if done efficiently. Remember this: Quality matters! No point doing more sponge baths if it is done in a hurried manner.


Nursing Care for Alzheimer’s

Caregiving for a next of kin with Alzheimer’s can be extremely stressful as the disease deteriorates.
Clover Healthcare - Nursing Care for Alzheimer's

Suggestions for successful communication with sufferers of Alzheimer’s:
– cut down on distractions, noise and other things that will impede communication. This will enable the caregiver to understand what the individual with Alzheimer’s is saying and vice versa.
– speak calmly in simple and short sentences.
– calling by name and only continuing after getting his/her attention.
– predict or suggest words that the person is struggling to say but cannot.
– framing instructions and questions in a positive manner.

Suggestions for bathing sufferers of Alzheimer’s:
– understanding that bathing can be daunting for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and to exercise patience.
– testing the water temperature before the person bathes
– using toilet friendly features like shower chair, grab bars etc…
– never leaving the person alone in the shower.
– telling the person what you are going to do in a step by step manner to prepare him/her properly.

Suggestions for dressing sufferers of Alzheimer’s:
– having the person get dressed in a routine schedule, so that it becomes habitual.
– encouragement coupled with enough time to allow the person to dress at their own pace.
– allow only a limited range of outfits for selection.
– avoid buttons and zippers and use clothing with Velcro closures.
– arrange clothes in an order that they reduce confusion.

Suggestions for helping sufferers of Alzheimer’s eat:
– limit food choices after taking into factoring in physical and medical considerations.
– use deep bowls and crockery with large handles to promote independence while eating. Fluids can be introduced via straws or cups with lids.
– play soothing music while having meals.
– do understand that the risk of choking increases while the disease progresses.

Suggestions for helping sufferers of Alzheimer’s sleep better:
– limit daytime napping to ensure that the individual sleeps better at night.
– schedule more physically demanding activities earlier in the day.
– restrict caffeine access in the evening.

Suggestions for helping sufferers of Alzheimer’s with hallucinations and delusions:
– try to minimize confrontation or arguments about what he/she sees or hears.
– distract the person to perform another activity such as going for a walk or even just leaving the room.
– turn off the television when violent programs are shown.
– ensure harmful items are kept away from the sufferers. Kitchens should preferably be locked at night.
– consider using monitoring devices that might detect calls for help.


Does your Next of Kin have Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. This disease was first discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906 after an autopsy on a female patient. Dr Alzheimer discovered that the brain cells in the cerebral cortex of the patient were very different from normal brain cells. The cerebral cortex is the area of the brain that controls memory and logic. Dr. Alzheimer also found tangles of a plaque substance in the brain. These are formed by the build up of beta-amyloid clumping together.
Nursing Home - Dementia
The onset of Alzheimer’s disease usually happens progressively after the age of 60 and the risk for the disease increases with age. The symptoms may be very subtle and go unnoticed in the early stages.

Early Stage Symptoms:
• Personality changes
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Frequent and unexplained mood swings
• Difficulty with thinking and reasoning
• Temporal sense of confusion outside the house or neighbourhood
• Difficulty performing tasks that the person could perform in the past

Moderate Stage Symptoms:
• Inability to perform tasks such as bathing or toileting
• Loss of personal hygiene (such as wearing the same dirty clothes, day after day)
• Aggressive behaviour
• Difficulty with speech and communication

Late Stage Symptoms:
• Complete incontinence of bowels and bladder, requiring adult diaper usage
• Rage for no apparent reason
• Aphasia (difficulty speaking to others or understanding the words that are spoken by others)
• Extreme paranoia or suspiciousness
• Slow or slurred speech, making comprehension hard
• Taking ages or having problem performing simple tasks like dressing oneself

Medications can be prescribed to delay the progression of the symptoms but there are currently no known medications that can halt or cure Alzheimer’s disease. Caregiving for a next of kin that has Alzheimer’s disease is particularly stressful and cumbersome. This is even more so as the disease worsens with age. Psychologically, it is also very draining on the caregiver. Hence, it comes as no surprise when most will consider long term nursing care for their next of kin when their Alzheimer’s disease has worsened.
PS: If you need more information on Alzheimer’s disease, do visit the Alzheimer’s Association.


Increasingly Impaired Abilities of Seniors

Most people who live with and/or care for an older person would understand that with ageing comes an increased risk of the older person experiencing key difficulties. Such difficulties are usually the normal everyday tasks such as managing daily finances, performing routine household chores and errands, preparing meals or even getting on or off the bed. It normally comes as a big surprise to their children when their father or mother who is usually very prompt in making bill payments suddenly “forgetting” to pay the bills. It normally manifests as a stack of unpaid bills at a corner of the house. As you can already imagine, individuals who are age 80 and older have the greatest risk in performing such activities of daily living.

Another area of distress is that even if a parent or relative has never been a subject of scammers before, many elderly with impaired cognitive abilities are at high risk of being cheated. These criminals are always looking for easy “preys” that they can wear down with their aggressive or persistent endeavours. Sometimes, they masquerade as a neighbour repairman who wants to take a look at the roof or pipes to check for leaks, thereby gaining the trust of the elderly. Once they are able to enter, it would seem that the criminals can then help themselves to the valuable items in the house. It is always better to tell the elderly not to be too trusting, but that is easier said than done. One of the reasons is that they are mostly left to themselves when their children or next of kin is at work. With the boredom and isolation of having no one to talk to, a friendly and chatty repairman is a welcome refreshing change. Another example is led by the increasing numbers of older people who now have access to the internet. In the internet, they are often lured into giving their bank account numbers.

Hence, one of the services that we feel can help reduce such occurrences is the elderly day care for the elderly. With the elderly being taken care of at an elderly day care centre, it always gives a peace of mind to their children or next of kin.


Pending Ministry of Health inspection & approval

We are currently awaiting the arrival of the Ministry of Health officials for final inspection and approval. We are sure the old adage “Good things are worth the wait” is true. We aspire to be fully compliant and adhere to high standards of nursing care for all our residents. Please check back soon for updates. You can also contact us via our contact us page.


Clover Care Centre slated to open in 2nd/3rd Quarter 2014

Clover Care Centre is currently undergoing intensive addition and alteration works to be fully compliant with the requirements as per the Ministry of Health regulations. We looked long and hard and finally settled on a bungalow that could be refurbished to suit the needs of a care centre that our residents can call home. Besides having a lift to enable our residents to move to the second floor of the care centre with ease, we are also going to implement elderly or handicapped friendly features in all our toilets. The vision is to create a home witah the necessary hardware and software that can cater to the needs of all our residents. Our nursing home is situated in a rustic corner of Gelang Patah, Johor, Malaysia and we are easily accessible from the major North South Expressway. You can go to our Contact Us page to get more details on our actual location.
At the moment, you can actually:
(i) Contact us for more information, or
(ii) Request to be placed on our waiting list, or
(iii) If there is firm interest to reserve a place at our nursing home, you can actually place a non-refundable deposit and we will also ensure you will receive an early bird discount upon our opening.



Clover Care Centre welcomes talented, compassionate and active individuals to grow with us.
We have open positions for
(i) Registered Staff Nurses
(ii) Enrolled Nurses
(iii) Healthcare Facility Assistants
(iv) Accounting / Administration Staff
All applicants must be willing to be stationed within travelling distance of the nursing home location. We are most willing to provide accommodation for suitable and willing candidates. Meals are also provided at Clover Care Centre.