It doesn’t take much for seniors to be hospitalized. The seasonal flu, an injury, or complications from a known health condition could easily require your aging loved one to seek advanced medical care. Hearing your loved one is in the hospital might send you into a state of panic, but working through these five steps can help you remain calm and help your loved one get what he or she needs for a strong recovery.
1. Establish Communication with the Medical Team
Doctors and nurses often need to speak with family members about a senior’s condition, and this is a particularly serious issue if your loved one cannot communicate. The best way to communicate with the medical team is to appoint one member of your family to serve as the spokesperson. If you plan to serve as your loved one’s family caregiver, you’re the perfect person for this role. Having one person do most of the talking with the doctors can minimize miscommunication issues and save time for everyone.
If your loved one is living with cognitive challenges due to dementia, you may be required to communicate with medical personnel on his or behalf. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Edmonton families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
2. Identify Immediate Needs
An unexpected trip to the hospital means your loved one might not have had time to prepare for the stay. Start by finding out if your loved one has any immediate personal needs that should be addressed, such as having clothing, eyewear, or medications brought to the hospital. Once your loved one is set up for the stay, you’ll want to find out if he or she has any household issues that need to be taken care of. For instance, your loved one might have pets that need care while he or she is away, or an important bill might need to be paid before your parent is discharged.
3. Appoint Someone to Handle Each Responsibility
Your family may need to divide the responsibilities to keep everyone from being overwhelmed. Put together a list of all of your loved one’s needs along with who can handle each one. For instance, one person may be great at taking care of a pet, while someone else might prefer to handle the finances temporarily.
Ideally, you should be prepared in advance for the possibility your loved one may have to go to the hospital. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Take Care of Yourself Physically & Emotionally
Having a loved one in the hospital is mentally and physically exhausting, especially if the senior requires critical care. Although it may be tempting to spend every hour at the hospital, you also need to remember to take time out to get some sleep, eat, and shower. Taking care of yourself helps you be ready when the need arises to step in and help. If you find you’re facing emotional difficulties, consider talking to someone about what you’re going through.
5. Plan for the Homecoming
The time to start planning for your loved one’s hospital discharge is now. Although the discharge instructions may change, your loved one’s medical team can give you some idea of the kind of care he or she will need after returning home. Many seniors require some assistance with their daily needs until they’re fully recovered. A professional caregiver can remind your loved one to take medications and help him or her move around the house and manage personal hygiene during recovery.
After your loved one returns home, keeping track of his or her conditions and medications can be challenging, and a home caregiver can be a fantastic source of support. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Edmonton senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services