Home Nursing

a flower or a little surprise giftI apologize for the slight delay this week ~ I was called upon to help my dear sister out this weekend after her appendix was yanked out.

In light of my own recent situation, I provide for you some tips about taking care of a sick relative. I do wish I had found this advice before the surgery ~ had I known that she could have been sorting and filing recipes, I would have turned off the television!

1966: Home Nursing

When least expected, you may be called upon to provide nursing care for a member of your family. At one time or another, most families have had such experiences. Much can be done to make them easier, and at the same time, to promote the general well-being of the patient.

The sickroom can be made comfortable and pleasant with flowers, house plants, attractive curtains, or a colorful picture. Furnishings that will not be useful can be removed to make the room easier to clean. Good ventilation and lighting are important. Disturbing noises should be minimized, and if possible, eliminated.

Sickroom equipment can often be improvised to save the expense of buying or renting it. For example, a simple orange crate, with an added shelf, makes a practical bedside table. Special equipment such as hospital beds can sometimes be borrowed from local health and welfare agencies. . . .

Illness generally curbs a person’s appetite. Although a sick person should not be forced to eat, nourishment is essential. A patient’s appetite can be stimulated by food that is well prepared and attractively served. A colorful tray with small food portions and a flower or a little surprise gift or food item can encourage a patient to eat. If visitors are allowed, a relative or a friend may be invited to join him for an occasional meal.

A patient’s progress may depend a good deal on his mental outlook. Try to keep up his spirits by being cheerful and understanding. Check with the doctor on the types of activities allowed. Reading, knitting, sewing, letter writing, radio, television, puzzles, and crafts are some ways for the bedridden to occupy the time. A patient may be able to perform small jobs such as helping with mending, sorting, and mounting photographs in an album, or arranging and filing

Source: Laas, William, Ed. Good Housekeeping’s Guide for Young Homemakers. New York: Harper & Row, 1966.
~ pp. 172-73 ~