Page 47 - Guardian Hospice Care
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 Comfort Measures
A Guide for Caregivers
The little and the unnecessary become the significant and needed when a person is dying. A joyful and caring attitude when giving care helps a patient maintain comfort and dignity. A patient doesn’t have to look like he/she is dying; the better you look the better you feel, especially about yourself.
→ Skin
Use bland soap, rinse well and dry thoroughly. Take time and effort to make a bath more than a daily physical necessity, include a massage of the back or the entire body using slow, gentle strokes. Have a basin, two towels, cloth, lotion powder, gown, and linens at hand.
→ Hair
Women especially like to have hair washed, combed, curled, and even dyed. Have on hand a plastic pan, garbage bags, pillows covered with plastic under shoulders. A comb dipped in alcohol removes oils and itch. Dry shampoo freshens. Powder brushed through helps remove oils.
→ Nails
Soak in warm water to soften. Clean and trim to prevent scratching.
→ Clothing
Soft, light materials - open back, yoke neck to prevent constriction, easy to change. Cotton material is cooler and less irritating to sensitive skin. For men, consider cutting pajama top down the back. Use soft, cotton bed sheets, change daily or whenever soiled. Straighten with each change of position. One wrinkle may feel like a tin rope to the patient’s skin. A draw sheet can be useful when repositioning patient.

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