Coming home after a stay in the hospital can sometimes be overwhelming.
Not only for the patient, but also for the person providing the after-care. It is hard to see a loved one uncomfortable in any way. Being prepared is a good way to lessen the stress for everyone involved. Here are some things that can help make the transition home a bit easier for everyone involved.
Create a Plan
Having a plan or some guidelines in place for when your loved one returns home is important. Make sure friends and family are warned that rest is a huge part of recovery. Often loved ones are anxious to reconnect and make sure everything is ok. It is important to set clear boundaries with visitors to insure the patient feels at ease. Designate a close family friend or family member to be in charge of communication with everyone involved. Create a call or email list, so all who are concerned can stay up to date without interruption to the person recovering.
Prepare a Comfortable Space
When coming home after a stay in the hospital, the physician should provide you with a list of guidelines. These guidelines can help you create a comfortable space for your loved one to relax and recover. If your loved one lives in a home with stairs, but is required to have minimal movement, try setting up a restful area downstairs. This will lessen the chances of an unforeseen accident.
Keep a Care Journal
Keep a record of recovery especially if more than one caretaker is involved. Listing medications and the times they are taken is essential for making sure prescriptions are being taken properly. Even keeping a record of restroom activity can be helpful. If the patient moves slowly, having enough time to get to the restroom can save you from an emergency situation. The more information recorded, the more tools you have to make sure your loved one is getting the best care possible.
It is common to feel overwhelmed when caring for someone coming home after a stay in the hospital. If you feel you need assistance, you are not alone. Eldercare offers assistance specifically for the first night home after a hospital stay. Create a “to-do” list and a care provider will make sure your loved one’s home is equipped for their return. Providing a ride home, running to the grocery store, changing linens and picking up prescriptions, etc. are all things you can cross off your list and have a staffed care provider accomplish for you.
Sometimes a person’s life can be too busy to be on call for your loved one, or maybe you live too far to be present. Eldercare also provides in home care if you believe your loved one is in need of a longer period of assistance.
One main goal for recovery is to make sure no one is feeling overwhelmed. Eldercare Services has been providing Bay Area families with Care Management, Home Care Services, Advocacy, Counseling, Support Groups and Education since 1989. We are available for any questions or concerns you may have about how to receive the best care for your loved one.