Returning home after a stay in hospital is a cause for celebration – it signifies recovery and improvement. However, if you have an elderly relative or friend who is returning home and they are not yet back to full strength it can be a concern. You might be worried they can’t care for themselves or that they are at higher risk of having an accident. These worries are normal. Here is how you can help a senior recover after a hospital stay.
Be There for Them
Giving your loved one support as they return home can make a world of difference. This might include visiting more frequently or staying with them as they adapt to life back home. If you know there are certain aspects of selfcare they will struggle with, such as changing bedding or cooking a meal, you may be able to offer assistance. Even if you are unable to be there at every mealtime you could batch cook so they can heat food up in the microwave (often easier to use than an oven). Supporting a senior after a hospital stay can be physically and emotionally draining. Where possible, have a roster where family members and friends can share the load.
If you live a long way away or have work or family commitments, it can be hard to offer the support you want to give. In this situation it can be beneficial to call on home care specialists who can help your loved one by offering practical help and company. If you are looking for home care in St Louis Missouri, research to find who can offer the services you need. Find out if it will be the same person who will be providing the care throughout or if it will be a team of carers. Some seniors will respond better to having one person who they can build up a bond with, others may enjoy seeing a variety of people. Factors such as this will influence your decision.
Sometimes all your loved one will want is someone to talk to. Listening to their concerns and needs so they know they are being heard might be all they need.
Accompany Them to Future Appointments
If your loved one has follow-up appointments with their medical team, they might be grateful for physical and emotional support. Offer to accompany them to future appointments where possible – they may not want you to be there but knowing someone has offered that option can give reassurance that there is support on hand if needed. It might be that they will not want you to attend the appointment with them but that they would be grateful of help getting to an appointment, so be sure they know that that is an option.
Supporting a loved one after a hospital stay can be draining so be sure to look after yourself as well as them. Remember, you can’t fill from an empty cup.