For many elderly adults, going to the hospital is simply a part of life that might occur once or even a couple of times each year. Seniors often struggle with chronic health issues that may need attention and hospital care, are more vulnerable to illness and infection that would benefit from them receiving urgent or intensive care within a hospital setting, and may experience falls and other injuries requiring treatment.
Use these tips to help reduce the risk of hospital readmissions:
-Ensure that your aging parent understands the condition or issue that brought them to the hospital and that they are aware of what needs to be done in order to manage that issue.
-Help your parent to understand their medications, how they need to take them when they need to take them, and any side effects that they might experience. This helps to ensure compliance, which is how they will get the most benefit from the medications, as well as prepares them for the possibility of side effects so that they are not frightened by them and return to the hospital because of them.
-Talk to the doctor about any follow-up care that will be needed and what this care will entail. Be sure to follow through with this care so that your parent’s condition is managed in the best way possible.
-Give your senior emotional support and encouragement after their hospitalization. Often seniors visit the hospital due to feelings of loneliness or isolation, or because they feel that they are not prepared to handle the condition on their own. Making sure that they know that you and a care provider are there for them will give them more confidence and motivate them to take better care of themselves.
Being a family caregiver for an aging adult can be extremely challenging and stressful. This can be especially true if you are a member of the sandwich generation caring for both your children and your parents, if you live at a distance from your parent and are not able to be with them as frequently as you would like to be, or you have your own challenges in limitations that keep you from giving them the care that they need on a consistent basis. If you are dealing with these challenges, now may be the ideal time for you to start home care for your parents.
How can a senior care provider help?
A senior care provider can step in to provide care when you are not able to, handle specific care tasks that you are uncomfortable with or not able to handle effectively, give your parent more companionship, or simply to encourage a more active and fulfilling life as they age in place. This is not only extremely beneficial for your parent, but can ease your stress and help you to devote your time, energy, effort, and resources in the best way possible.