Bariatric patients – a challenge to caregivers

bariatric patientWhat does the word Bariatric mean?

Bariatrics is a field of medicine that deals with obesity treatment and weight loss in general. Term was derived from three different root origins: bari (Greek for heavy weight), iatrikos/iatros (describes physicians and treatment in Greek) and the suffix, ic (means pertaining to). Generally, the term “bariatric patient” is used for someone who is extremely over weight or with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30+. Other factors that define bariatric patients include height, size, weight distribution and mobility issues.

The Challenge

There has been increase in the number of bariatric patients in recent years. This presents a challenge to caregivers providing care due to their size and difficulty with mobility. Because they are mobility-dependent, they require help with day to day activities. This poses a risk of injury not only for themselves but also those providing the care. The parameters caregivers must take into consideration include: patient’s weight, mobility, ability to transfer, skin condition and personal hygiene needs.

Incontinence is more common when people are obese. Consequently, toileting and personal care become difficult tasks for the caregiver. For this reason, bariatric patients must use incontinence pads or adult diapers whenever possible.

What is the solution?

As a caregiver, it is important that you help your patient get the equipment they need to live with dignity. There are many bariatric safe patient handling equipment which cater to heavy patients. The design of these equipment incorporates higher weight capacities and is safe for larger or obese patients.

Aids for bariatric patients

bariatric patient wheelchair and shower chair

Bathroom aids such as: heavy duty shower chairs and benches, commode chairs, grab bars and handles.
Bariatric mobility aids such as: bariatric wheelchairs, rollators, and walking aids.

Where to source them?

We recommend ‘The Old is Gold Store’, a speciality store offering an assortment of products & services exclusive to senior citizens. Apart from the above, you will find several products that make your older adult’s life easier.