[caco- + Gr. hexis, condition]
A state of ill health, malnutrition, and wasting. It may occur in many chronic diseases, malignancies, and infections.
Activities should be interspersed with frequent rest periods and the patient's response to activity monitored to prevent fatigue. Oral hygiene is provided before and after eating. Small, frequent meals of high-calorie, high-nutrient, concentrated soft foods are offered along with fluids to reduce the effort required in eating. The patient is repositioned frequently to prevent skin breakdown. The skin is inspected for breakdown, and tissues are protected from pressure with flotation pads or mattresses and other assistive devices. When moved, the patient is handled gently, and the joints are supported to prevent pain and pathological fractures. Assisted passive or active range-of-motion exercises are provided to maintain joint mobility. Elimination is monitored to prevent retention of urine or stools, and the patient is assisted with toileting. If incontinence occurs, steps are taken to protect skin integrity and to preserve the patient's self-esteem.
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