As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you get to work in almost any possible healthcare settings. You get to work with different kinds of patients, most especially the elderly since they are the kind of people who needs assistance the most. As part of your job as a Certified Nursing Assistant, it is your duty to assist your patient in everything that they do like feeding, bathing and grooming themselves. You tend to their needs and make sure that you meet all of it. It is also your job to make sure that they would be in the best possible health condition by preventing the occurrence of threats such as bed sores. As people aged, they lose some of the vigor that they have as a young people, this may be emotionally as well as physically, which is in terms of expected deterioration on their health such as elasticity of the skin and also on the other parts of their body. It is then your duty to prevent the effects that this may cause. One of the things that a care giver should remember to watch out for is the risk for Aspiration.
Aspiration can usually occur among older people since as they ages, they also develop slow swallowing rate which may result to dysphagia or difficulty in chewing and swallowing. This is may be due to existing condition such as Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, as the one who took care of them, it is important that you know something about Aspiration Prevention.
Some of the things that you can do are:
- Providing a 30 minute break before feeding your patient as a rested person has a less possibility of difficulty in swallowing.
- Position your patient so as to avoid aspiration by having him sit on a chair during meals or if he is bedridden, you could then elevate the head of the bed up to 90 degrees.
- Do not be in a hurry in feeding your patient. Let him chew his food on his own time and pace.
- Serve him food on a small amount or if how much he can tolerate.
- If the patient is experiencing facial paralysis, put the food on the unaffected side of his face.
- Also avoid things that may distract the patient during his meal time.
- Also provide oral care to the patient before and after his meal.
- Do not also try feeding a patient that was heavily sedated.
These are the things that could help you prevent aspiration however, remember that a proper assessment could also be very helpful so as to know the early signs of aspiration or any possible factors that could lead to aspiration.