Think about this possibility: your 90-year-old mother, who lives in her own home alone, fell recently, cracked her pelvis, and is being released from the hospital today. Leafing through her discharge papers reveals the need for medications, physical therapy, medical follow-up in several weeks, and a number of symptoms to watch for that could mean a return to the E/R.
With a family of six to care for and a full-time job, is it possible to also make sure she sticks to her doctor's orders and can avoid another fall before she has even recovered from the last fall? Increasingly more often, family members are donning the role of caregiver for their senior parents – as many as 44 million and expanding, according to the AARP. And don't forget to take into consideration that after a hospitalization, the level of care provided often needs to be stepped up in order to protect a loved one's health and prevent a return to the hospital. These tips can help family caregivers keep their loved ones safe and aid in the recovery process at home:
- Seek out information. Be sure to ask your family member's medical team whatever amount of questions necessary to help you better understand how to provide excellent care, including who to call for help and warning signs to watch for that could indicate a potential problem.
- Take care of yourself. Caregiving can be stressful, and can affect a caregiver's own health. It is important to get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet, and take time for relaxing and enjoyable activities.
- Network with others. Family members typically feel they have a responsibility to provide all of their loved one's care without outside help, but it’s in both your and your loved one's best interests to have a list of resources on hand to help: friends, extended family, neighbors, even a caregiving support group.
Enlist the help of one of the top Washington home care companies, Cascade Companion Care
, when senior care needs arise. We’re here to help keep seniors safe and to make sure they’re recovering and thriving following hospitalizations; and we’re just a phone call away at 425-361-0044. We can be a vital component to providing care to supplement family help.