Bariatric care describes the care and support given to people who are extremely obese. Bariatric care is an umbrella term that covers the care given in a hospital setting, a specialist facility or at home, specifically catering to the needs and health issues of people with extreme obesity.
Understanding obesity and its impact
Obesity is a growing problem in the UK, with rates rising dramatically across all age groups in recent years. The term ‘obese’ is used to describe people who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 -39.9, while ‘severely’ or ‘morbidly obese’ is a term given to those with a BMI of 40 or above. 2021 figures from the NHS show that approximately 26% of adults in England are obese and an additional 38% are overweight (BMI between 25 – 30). Morbid obesity has increased by 400% in the last 20 years going from 1% of the population in 1999 to 4% in 2019.
The impact of obesity on an individual’s health can be very serious. With significantly increased levels of risk associated with chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast and bowel cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, strokes and mental health issues.
What is bariatric care?
Due to the rising rates of obesity, there is a growing need for care and support that addresses the specific needs and health issues of people living with obesity, either in a medical/health setting such as a hospital or in day-to-day life such as at home or in a residential care setting.
Bariatric care is often associated with bariatric surgery, which is surgery that helps obese people lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach or bypassing a portion of the digestive tract. However, bariatric care is more than just this and encompasses all medical, health and day-to-day care needed for people with extreme obesity to live well.
Bariatric home care services are designed to address the unique needs of these individuals, providing them with personalised care and support to ensure a safe and successful recovery process.
Bariatric care at home includes:
- Post-operative care – After bariatric surgery, patients require careful support and monitoring to ensure a smooth recovery.
- Mobility – Support moving around at home, and repositioning throughout the day to reduce skin conditions and assist with comfort.
- Nutritional support – Supports people with obesity to develop personalised meal plans that meet their nutritional requirements and assist in weight loss while helping them adapt to a new way of eating. This can also include the preparation of nutritious meals.
- Physical therapy – Assistance with physical mobility and exercises to increase strength and minimise symptoms.
- Assistance with daily activities – Support with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, mobility, toileting and getting out and about.
- Skin health – Common skin conditions experienced by people with extreme obesity such as pressure ulcers, contact dermatitis and bacterial and/or yeast infections need daily care to assist in healing and ensure conditions do not worsen.
- Emotional support – Living with extreme obesity can be emotionally challenging and increases the risk of mental health issues. Bariatric home care provides companionship and emotional support to help keep a positive mindset.
- Medication management – Reminding and assisting to take medication, such as insulin to manage type 2 diabetes.
Receiving bariatric care at home
Whilst bariatric care can be provided in many different settings such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, many people choose to receive care at home where they are most comfortable. Live-in bariatric care makes it possible for those with extreme obesity and related health conditions to remain in the comfort of their own home, safe in the knowledge that they have all the support they need to live well.
At Country Cousins, we have been providing live-in bariatric home care to people across the UK for over 60 years through our network of professional and experienced bariatric carers. When you receive bariatric home care from Country Cousins you can rest assured you are getting professional, personalised, one-to-one care from carers who understand your needs.
Safety Considerations & Health Equipment
Bariatric care requires safety considerations for both carers and the care receiver to avoid injury. It is dangerous for care workers to manually lift people as it can cause them injury, so they will often use slide sheets, slings and hoists to move a person safely.
Many people receiving bariatric care struggle with mobility. This can be due to their physical size and related issues such as bed sores or amputations from diabetes, or unrelated reasons such as their age. They may need assistance to transfer to a wheelchair, shower chair or commode. They may also need support to change position if they are bed-bound in order to prevent bed sores. In these situations, it is essential to prioritise safety and ensure appropriate equipment is available to meet their unique requirements.
Emotional support and mental well-being
A Country Cousins carer provides more than just practical support. Living with extreme obesity can take its toll on a person’s mental well-being as it not only affects their physical condition but can impact their ability to socialise or engage in the local community. They may face discrimination and stigma, all of which impact a person’s mental health.
One key component of emotional support for people receiving bariatric care is creating a safe and non-judgmental environment. A Country Cousins carer provides companionship and emotional support on a day-to-day basis, which can have immeasurable benefits for a person’s mental health. Many of our clients report that their Country Cousins carer becomes like one of the family.
A live-in carer can also help a person access bariatric support groups and assist them in attending social events, which have a positive impact on an individual’s mental health and outlook on life.
Why choose Country Cousins?
If you or a loved one requires bariatric care at home, either on a temporary basis after bariatric surgery or for ongoing support with daily life, Country Cousins is here to help you.
We have over 60 years of experience providing high-quality home care to people across the UK. In fact, we are the longest-serving home care agency in the UK. We offer personalised flexible care, specific to your needs, meaning that you get exactly the care you need when you want it from carers experienced with your health conditions.
We offer a no-obligation enquiry service with our friendly and experienced care team. Call us today on 0808 169 8996 to find out how we can help you live a happy healthy life at home. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch soon.