While we may visualize a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving get-together, with the entire family enjoying high quality time together and Grandma’s classic food, the reality for some families may include something unanticipated: a visit to the hospital. Believe it or not, studies indicate that emergency room visits for seniors jump an astounding 10% – 20% over the holidays.
While identifying the precise reasons regarding this increase is hard, it seems logical that one component could possibly be loved ones who have not spent time with an elderly relative within the months just before the holidays, begin to recognize during a visit that his/her situation has deteriorated.
Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital explains, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in 6 months, you may not be fully aware of the aging process and her health in general.”
There are several practical steps that family members may take in order to avoid a holiday emergency situation:
- Record essential contact information for the senior’s primary care physician and other specialists. Include all medications prescribed by each health care provider and any drug allergies and other issues.
- Getting in touch with the right physician for advice about your worries is an excellent first step over an emergency room visit, except if the senior is experiencing a true emergency.
- Speak to your loved one about assigning a health care proxy, who can act as a voice for making health choices in the event that your loved one is unable to do this. Make sure a living will is also in place.
- Check in with the older adult often all year. For families who live at a distance, it could be beneficial to engage the help of your loved one’s neighbors or friends to visit the senior regularly and to help keep you up to date with any irregularities they observe.
An established eastern Massachusetts in-home care agency, like North River Home Care, may be the ideal year-round approach to guarantee your loved one continues to be healthy and well, and that any alterations in condition are resolved immediately – making sure the holiday season stays as festive and enjoyable as it ought to be. Just some of the numerous ways we can assist include:
- Planning and preparing nutritious, delicious meals, in compliance with any nutritional limitations
- Providing accompanied transport to doctor appointments and procedures, exercise programs, and fun excursions
- Assessing the home for fall hazards and suggesting adjustments to ensure safety
- Helping with safe and secure ambulation and transfers
- Personal care such as bathing, showering, and using the restroom
- And so much more, in accordance with each person’s specific needs
Call us at 781.659.1366 to request a complimentary in-home assessment to learn more ways that we can help increase safety and overall wellbeing for your senior loved one.