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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 2 (May 1, 1934.)

Home Nursing. — Invalid Comfort

Home Nursing.
Invalid Comfort.

There are many points that make for the comfort and well-being of the invalid. In the first place, choose the most cheerful and sunny room available, with a bright outlook. Remove any superfluous furniture, extra ornaments and hangings, taking care not to make the room more bare and comfortless than the case demands. The bed should be narrow, with a good firm mattress. It is very difficult to make a patient comfortable on a soft, sagging bed. The bed should be placed in such a position that only the head is against a wall. Due consideration must be given to the situation of the windows, and the patient, of course, should avoid facing the light.

Ventilation is one of the most important points in regard to the hygiene of a sick-room. Pure air is absolutely necessary. It is essential to keep the air fresh and pure, and at the same time to avoid draughts. The windows should always be kept open at the top. A wide-open window causes less draught than one open only a few inches. The judicious use of a screen is a great help in the case of a patient who complains of draughts.

Care must be taken when making the bed, to pull the under-blanket and sheet very tightly and smoothly, and tuck them well under the mattress. Avoid creases, as they are the cause of great discomfort, and bedsores are often traceable to poorly made beds. The lower blanket and sheet should be tucked in at the top of the mattress, and the top sheet and blankets tucked well in at the foot, so that the bedclothes do not slip. Fold the sheet back about eighteen inches over the blankets. Bed-linen should be changed frequently.

If a patient who sits up in bed during the day is inclined to slip down, a knee-pillow is a comfort. Wrap a firm pillow in a sheet, place it under the knees, and tuck the ends of the sheet well under the mattress.

In addition to the daily bathing or sponging of the patient, see that the teeth, mouth, etc, are thoroughly cleansed. Carry out any treatment that may be ordered by the doctor. Clothes should be frequently changed.

Thick undergarments are not necessary. It is better to have a light porous garment next to the skin, and wear a warm bed-jacket when necessary. It is a good idea to have separate sets of garments for day and night wear.

The room must be thoroughly swept and dusted daily. Flowers should be taken out of the room at night, and the water changed before putting them back in the morning.

Food and crockery should not be left in the sick room. Drinks that are left with the patient should be covered. Water for drinking should be renewed frequently.