When a loved one undergoes an amputation, it changes their life significantly. Whether due to a traumatic injury or peripheral vascular disease, the amputation procedure is a major life event. That’s why it’s critical that the person must be surrounded by physical and emotional support.
But amputee care takes on many layers, from dealing with physical changes to navigating the emotional challenges that come with this life-altering event. Professional home care services can significantly improve the amputee’s quality of life!
Why Does an Amputee Need Home Care Services?
Immediately following an amputation, things most people often take for granted - like basic household tasks - become increasingly difficult. The initial few weeks back home are very challenging. The process of adjustment involves not only physical but also emotional support.
The reasons behind an amputation may range from accidents to complications from diseases like diabetes, which can lead to peripheral vascular disease, resulting in poor circulation and tissue death. Home care services, with specialized attention to limb care, create a trustworthy transition phase during those first few weeks, helping an amputee adapt to a safe and accessible home environment.
What Can a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Do for Amputee Care?
Consider working with a PCA for hands-on support services like bathing assistance, light housekeeping, cooking, and grocery shopping. They can also help with errands and medical appointments, ensuring that your loved one not only receives their medication on time but also eats healthy meals.
How Can You Help a Loved One Adjust to Their Amputation?
Modify Their Living Space
Home modifications will likely need to be made, to help your loved one have a more accessible living environment. This could involve installing ramps and motion-sensing lights, replacing door knobs with levers, installing shower benches and grab bars, and modifying kitchen and living spaces according to the individual’s needs.
Care for Their Mental Health
In general, the post-operation adjustment process is influenced by the cause of the amputation, the patient's physical condition before the amputation, the pain or disability experienced, and the patient's social support system. During this period, be vigilant for signs of depression and PTSD, which can often accompany considerable physical trauma such as amputation. The 988 lifeline is a great resource for difficult moments.
Support Through Rehab & Prosthesis Care
Once the residual limb begins to heal, the rehabilitation phase begins. This could involve being fitted for a prosthesis, and you can help your loved one with prosthesis care. As family members of amputees, keep in mind that for your loved one, adapting to a prosthesis can be a long process.
As an amputee, skin care products should be cleared by a doctor before using them on the residual limb. Regular cleaning and moisturizing, along with routine checks for blisters, cuts, or sores, help maintain the skin's health around the prosthesis.
For more information and guidance on providing home care for amputees, contact Best Care. Our team has helped many amputees receive the at-home care they need to adjust to their new home life.