Picture this scenario: your elderly mother, who lives alone, suffered a fall, fractured her arm and ankle, and is now being released from the hospital. 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 would warrant a return to the E/R.
With a full-time job and family of your own to care for, is it possible to make sure she adheres to her recovery plan and is kept safe from an additional fall? More and more, family members are taking on the role of caregiver for their elderly loved ones – as many as 44 million and growing, according to the AARP. And following a hospitalization, the level of care provided often needs to be stepped up in order to ensure safety and prevent rehospitalizations. These tips can help family caregivers keep their loved ones safe and aid in the recovery process at home:
- Seek out information. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one’s medical team as many questions as necessary to make sure you know how to provide the very best care, including what symptoms to watch for and who to call for help.
- Care for yourself. The stress of providing care for a loved one can take both a physical and emotional toll on caregivers. Be sure to get plenty of rest, take time for relaxing and enjoyable activities, and eat a balanced diet.
- Make connections. Family members often feel the need to manage a loved one’s care needs alone, but it’s in everyone’s best interest to have a list of resources on hand to help: friends, extended family, neighbors, even a caregiving support group.
Keep North River Home Care throughout the Boston area in mind as well. 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 and can be a vital component to providing care to supplement family help!