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How to care for bedridden elderly patients at home



How to care for bedridden elderly patients at home

Dr Taizeena Khan

How to care for bedridden elderly patients at home

Dr Taizeena Khan

Any person can get bedridden due to various health issues. However, it is elderly generation which is more vulnerable to getting bedridden as they experience various health issues as age advances. Old age is a beautiful stage of a life cycle but it comes with many challenges, one of them being staying physically active and mobile. If you have a loved one at your home who is ageing and you see age-related issues deteriorating their health. The primary mode of action is to find a way out to stop them from getting bedridden. This can be done by taking care of their Physical as well as mental health. Family, friends and medical professionals, such as Geriatric Physicians, Geriatric Physiotherapists, Psychologists, counsellors etc., play an important role in preventing a patient from getting bedridden. At this stage, it is important to maintain proper health checkups, Physical examinations, dietary intake and proper mobility of the elderly persons. Encouraging them regularly for maintaining their physical activities helps improve their physical as well as mental functions. Regular exercise can also reverse some of the effects of chronic diseases. A sedentary lifestyle often seen to be predominant in older people is one of the main reasons for the premature onset of old age health issues. Normal physical activity and a proper exercise regime set by your physiotherapist are very important to maintain a good metabolism and thereby contribute to healthy cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurological and psychological well-being.
Some of the commonly seen health issues in the elderly which need proper attention at the right time to prevent further complications are:
• Osteoporosis
• Arthritis
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Respiratory Diseases
• Alzheimer’s disease/dementia
• Parkinsonism’s
• Motor Neuron diseases
• Multiple sclerosis
• Stroke
• Depression
Another most commonly seen problem in the elderly is loss of balance, which leads to fear of falling or even falling leading to fractures. These all medical conditions can be prevented to deteriorate one’s health condition to the extent of getting bedridden by proper physical activities, exercise and a healthy diet. Proper medical intervention with your team of Geriatric physicians, physiotherapists, dietitians and a counsellor is needed at this stage. However, in some cases, the deterioration may have already affected the person’s health and led them to bedbound. At this stage, we need to prevent further complications and try to comfort the patient as much as we can.
Medical Complications of bedridden patients
Prolonged time spent in bed can cause many complications. Even though the period for remaining bedridden may vary from person to person depending upon the severity of their condition. It is highly recommended to consult a physiotherapist at this stage. If your therapist finds it ideal for the patient to perform exercises (actively, active assisted or passively depending on the condition of the patient) they will prescribe an exercise programme for the patient, which will help the patient to perform activities of daily living, such as going to the toilet, washing face, brushing, eating independently and also maintaining a good strength of muscles. However, if the deterioration is severe and the patient cannot move at all then we also need to be watchful about many other complications which come with prolonged bed rest. Some of the complications for elderly patients being in bed for long due to various health issues are:-
• Malnourishment: Low metabolism due to lack of movement lead to malnourishment. This is a serious problem as it can lead to a weak immune system. A prior diet plan for such patients is recommended by a dietitian.
• Deep vein thrombosis: Blood clot formation is commonly seen when blood flow slows down in bedridden patients due to lack of movement. To prevent these Your Physiotherapist will prescribe passive exercises. These are performed by physiotherapists passively on a patient. This means the physiotherapist moves each part of the patient’s body by him/herself. This not only improves blood circulation but also maintains the joint range of motion and prevents muscle contracture or prevents muscles from getting tight and stopping the movement further.
• Contractures /Weak muscles/Decreases Range of motion in joints: These are prevented by passive exercises as well as the proper position of the body with the help of pillows. Turning the patient every 2 hours in the bed from side to side is advisable
• Respiratory Complications such as pneumonia: Pneumonia can be prevented by chest physiotherapy. Breathing exercises in case of patients who can perform exercises actively can prevent respiratory complications. In case of patients who are not able to perform active exercises, postural drainage and other manual techniques to clear the airways can prevent further respiratory complications
• Urinary tract infection: This might require catheterization, monitoring the symptoms, and watching the output and colour of the urine. Keeping the area clean can prevent further aggravation of the infection
• Constipation: After consulting your doctor and dietitian. It is advisable to give laxatives or food rich in high fibre. Encourage the patient to increase water intake. In the case of critical patients, more medications to clean the gut may be required and needs medical supervision.
• Pressure sores or commonly known as bed sores: Repositioning and turning the patient every 2 hours can help relieve pressure points. Also, the use water/air mattress or water glove at critical pressure points is helpful. The common bed soreness points in the human body are the buttocks, shoulder blades, back of elbow, back of the heel, back of the skull, hip, inner knees etc.
• Depression: Being bedbound is a very stressful stage for patients as well as caregivers. It is very important to show love, care and support to such patients. Apart from exercises, encourage them to read a book (if they can) or a family member can read a book for them. Ask them to watch television, especially something they have always liked. If visitors are allowed to meet such patients, invite their friends to meet and talk to them. Keeping their room well ventilated, and well-lit and making sure their bed is closer to the window may also help. Nature is a natural healer and sitting closer to a window will not only help them breathe fresh air but also watch nature. Soothing massage to help relax muscles and mind may calm down the anxiety.


The author is a physiotherapist. She has done BPT from Bangalore, PGDMS from London, MBA from USA, MIAP. Besides, she has fellowships in Geriatric and Pediatric Rehabilitation 

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Lack of physical activity, stress affect well-being of children



Lack of physical activities affect well-being of children

Need to impart healthy and active lifestyle among youngsters

Dr Taizeena Khan

Lack of physical activities affect well-being of children

Dr Taizeena Khan

World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. At an early stage children not only need love and care, but also a proper road map for a healthy lifestyle. This road map should be devised by keeping in mind all the parameters of health and wellness. It should not only focus on the physical and mental health of our children but also on the social aspects of it. To achieve this goal we need to enhance the skills of parents. The health and wellness plan from the birth of a child will decide the future of our coming generations.

In recent years of my clinical practice as a physiotherapist, I have noticed more youngsters coming to me with musculoskeletal disorders. This abrupt rise of my younger generation patients, their lack of physical activity, unnecessary stress and lack of social set-up that could provide them with a platform to practice a healthy lifestyle at an early stage urged me to choose this topic today.

In recent years children as young as 12-18 years old have been coming to me with musculoskeletal disorders. While consulting/counselling these youngsters I have come to the conclusion that there is not only a lack of physical activities but also a lot of avoidable stress leading to the unhealthy choice of lifestyle in this age group these days.

To a large extent, I believe that technology has also played a great role in this. No doubt that technology has become an integral component of our daily lives. Technology has, to a great extent, made our lives easier but at the same time, it has done that at the cost of our physical, mental and our social lives. This all begins when we as a parent make a choice of offering a smartphone to our 6-month-old so that we can feed him. Children are easily attracted to new toys and a smartphone with so many features is no doubt the best form of toy for them. It has a cartoon that speaks to them anytime they hit the button. The best fictional stories they could ever watch and everything they could get their hands on. Meanwhile, we don’t realize the cost of bringing this technology to them at this early stage of their life. We happily make our child technology-dependent too early for our own convenience, as it is not only saving us time in this fast-moving world, but we also think that we are making our child happy.

Physical inactivity in children is becoming a growing problem day by day and has been considered an epidemic according to research.

WHO reports that about 70% of boys and up to 88% of girls under the age of 10 don’t get the physical activity they need for their age.

Think back to the times when we were growing up as kids. How did we spend our time in school as well as at home? There were no computers, no smartphones, and almost no technology. There was a good balance between our books, TV time and playing games. We were encouraged to go out and play. We had more real friends than social media friends whom we could talk and discuss our stress with. We also used to spend a lot of time on our vacation with our extended family members, especially with our grandparents. We used to listen to their stories, the folk stories, their real-life experiences etc. I remember going on for long walks with my grandfather and on the way bothering him with lots of inquisitive questions about the trees, the birds, or whatever we saw on our way. This helped me appreciate nature, love animals and observe things keenly.

But times have changed. Children today are hardly seen playing after school or having a good social life. Pressure from parents to perform better in academics, more and more access to technology and lack of physical activity is leading to overall physical, mental and social problems in their lives.

This sedentary lifestyle arising due to various problems discussed above is the leading cause of childhood obesity, hypertension, cardiac problems juvenile diabetes, anxiety, aggression, depression and other behavioural changes and musculoskeletal disorders in children. Delayed growth and development in infants and toddlers are also seen due to changing patterns of raising our children and more and more technology taking over our burdens. In recent years, more infants and toddlers are facing delayed speech and learning disabilities.

Investing time and effort in early childhood development starting from infancy is pertinent to stop this epidemic and give our children the best life. Plan a proper balanced healthy lifestyle program for your child’s health and wellness.

Here are some tips to lay a foundation for the health and well-being of our children whose benefits last a lifetime.

·  Do not introduce technology to your children at a very early age.

·  Instead introduce games which stimulate their brains, e.g. educational and learning toys such as building blocks, numbers, shapes, colours etc.

·  Spend more and more time with them while they are still in their infancy. Read a storybook for them, this encourages them to read and write.

·   Feed them while they are observing nature and not offering them a smartphone, this helps them enjoy their food and develop their taste buds better.

·   Encourage them to feed themselves as soon as you think they are ready for it.

·   Encourage them to do small independent activities e.g. feeding themselves, combing, brushing, tying shoe laces, etc. This will not only help them stay physically fit but also independent.

·   Introducing a healthy balanced diet plan and avoiding junk food is imperative.

·   Regularize the feeding and sleeping time.

·   Encourage going to bed early and do not give them access to technology at bedtime.

·   Limit the technology, TV and video game time, e.g. you can allow technology time which includes any form of technology only 1-2 hours a day.

·   Encourage them to spend more time playing games with friends, and extended family members, especially grandparents.

·   You can also select a day to play with your kids e.g. weekends, this will help you bond with your kids and also help you and your kids stay physically fit.

·  Encourage them to spend more time playing outdoors.

·  Encourage them to spend time with grandparents, let them listen to their real-life experiences and learn from them, and encourage physical activity as much as possible.

·  Bond with your kids. Listen to them with open mind and heart. Do not put pressure on them to achieve academic or any other goals in life, instead encourage them to do well in life by giving them all the support they need.

·  Last but not least be a practical example for your own kids. Practice a healthy lifestyle and they will follow you.


The author is a physiotherapist. She has done BPT from Bangalore, PGDMS from London, MBA from USA, MIAP. Besides, she has fellowships in Geriatric Rehabilitation, Pediatric Rehabilitation and is a certified women’s health exercise expert. She can be reached at 

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SKUAST-K to hold 2-day international conference on impact of viral infections



Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir is going to hold a two-daConference on impact of viral infections

BK News 

Srinagar, Nov 1: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir is going to hold a two-day international conference on the impact of viral infections at the Shalimar campus on November 5&6 (Saturday and Sunday), 2022.

The international conference ‘Emerging and Re-emerging Viral Infections Impacting Humans, Animals, Plants, Fish and Environment’ will be part of  XXX Annual Convention of the Indian Virological Society to be held at SKUAST-K this year.

Renowned virologists and scientists including, Dr RK Ratho, PGI Chandigarh; Prof Parvaiz A Koul, SKIMS, Soura; Dr Pragya Yadav, NIV, Pune; Prof NN Barman; AAU, Assam; Dr Anirban Roy, IARI, New Delhi; Dr Amit Pandey, Bhimtal; and Dr Manoj Kumar, Hester Biosciences Limited will be keynote speakers at the conference.

The conference on viral infections is being held against the backdrop of the emergence and re-emergence of viral outbreaks like Covid-19, severe liver inflammation in kids, monkeypox, polio, and “tomato flu” etc.

The recent outbreak of the LSD virus has killed over 1 lakh cattle and is still unabated. Each viral disease appears to be the result of unusual manifestations and proliferation of viruses previously known.

The conference on viral infections will bring scientists from different disciplines at National and International levels to discuss preemptive measures for anticipating such outbreaks, control measures to be taken, and readily available diagnostic and therapeutic measures. The keynote speakers will talk about research going on emerging and re-emerging viral diseases and the policies surrounding them.

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SKUAST-K to hold international conference on regenerative medicine 



International conference on regenerative medicine 

2-day event to be held jointly with KU, IIT Kanpur 

Srinagar, April 26: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir in association with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and the University of Kashmir is organising a two-day international conference on ‘Recent Advances in Biomedical Sciences and Regenerative Medicine (RABSRM 2022) on May 6&7.

The conference is being organised as part of the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) programme, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India, that aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions. Department of Science and Technology, GoI & World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project for the institutional development of SKUAST-K are also supporting the event.

Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, IIT Kanpur; Division of Animal Biotechnology, SKUAST-K; and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Innovations, KU are jointly organising the event to be held at SKUAST-K, Shalimar campus and KU campus, Hazratbal on May 6&7 respectively.

To review the preparations for the international conference, a meeting was held at SKUAST-K under the chairmanship of Director Research, Sarfaraz Ahmad Wani and Dean Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, MT Banday in which scientists, faculty members and organisers of the conference participated. 

The mega-conference is being held under the patronage of VC KU Prof Talat Ahmad and VC SKUAST-K Prof Nazir Ahamd Ganai. Prof Ganai, in his message, highlighted the importance of the conference in the present scientific era and hoped that it will provide an opportunity to discuss and deliberate on the issues shared across related fields concerning the improvement in life and working of mankind.

The RABSRM 2022 conference aims to bring together experts, researchers, young scientists and academicians from around the world to disseminate knowledge from interdisciplinary backgrounds. The knowledge provided by the eminent speakers and researchers will help to foster the research culture in the area of biomedical sciences and regenerative medicine at the universities of Jammu and Kashmir and around the country. The conference will provide an opportunity to discuss recent developments in biomedical research in health and diseases and foster future directions in drug discovery and therapeutic interventions. The themes of the conference include Bioengineering, Regenerative Medicine, Cancer Biology, Drug Design and Delivery, Vaccine Biology, Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials, Molecular Therapeutics, Animal Biotechnology, Stem Cell Gene Therapy & Biomarkers.

The conference solicits contributions of abstracts for oral/poster presentations that address themes and topics of the conference. Participants are required to submit their research abstracts online. Students/Postdocs/Faculties can submit abstracts describing original and unpublished results in all the areas of Biomedical Science and Medicine and are invited for the presentation at the conference after the acceptance. The template of the abstract can be found on the website: Among the leading National and International scientists participating in the two days event include the names of Jukka Seppälä from Aalto University, Finland, Andreas Nüssler from Univesity of Tuebingen, Germany, Jouni Partenan Aalto University, Finland and Hanna Isaksson from Lund University, Sweden as Key International Invited Speakers for the event. 

The event will be one of its rear kind in this part of the world where the professionals across diverse disciplines will be deliberating on the theme interrelated across all the steams of concern. The event is expected to host renowned professionals from various national and international organisations for the two days here at Srinagar. 

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