Helping Your Aging Parent Recover from a Long Hospital Stay

As we get older, unfortunately, it’s normal for our health to decline and for us to start spending more time in the hospital. If you have older parents, at some point they might have to spend some time in the hospital recovering from illness or building strength after an operation. While their time there can be worrying, many families find that it’s their discharge from the hospital that causes the most stress and worry, as they try to adjust back to normal life. Here are some tips for helping your aging parent recover following a long stay in the hospital. 

Build a Support Team

If your older parent needs a lot of support and care, you shouldn’t try to do it alone. You’ve probably got other responsibilities and time constraints and attempting to provide round-the-clock care might be impossible. Make sure you’ve got other people to help. This should include other family members and friends checking in, cooking, and cleaning, taking your loved one to doctor appointments, and just ringing them for a chat. In the first few days after their discharge, you might also want to find the right overnight home care near me so that they’ve got someone with them overnight and are never alone. 

Have Honest Conversations

It’s important that you know how much care your loved one needs. There’s a big difference between needing a little help around the house and needing full-time care. Speak to your loved one, and their medical team, and make sure they are honest with you about their needs. 

Prepare Their Home

After you’ve spoken to their health care staff, you should have a good idea about their mobility and health needs. Use this information to prepare their home for their arrival. This could include things like moving a bed downstairs, making changes to the bathroom, and even moving cookware and food to easy-to-reach shelves. 

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Prioritize Their Mental Health

While you are helping your loved one to recover and build strength, make sure you keep their mental health in mind. Not being able to do everything that they used to and spending a lot of time at home, or even in bed, can be frustrating. Try to find hobbies that they can enjoy while they recover and make sure they’ve got someone to talk to every day, even if it’s just a quick phone call.

Another way to protect their mental health is to avoid taking over. Make sure you involve them in all decisions about their care and try to respect their views. 

Be Patient

Recovery is rarely a straight line. Your loved one is bound to have good and bad days; they might take huge steps backward. It’s important that you are prepared for this and that you are patient with them. Make sure you’ve got support, and someone to confide in so that your loved one doesn’t see your frustrations. 

It’s important to understand that following an extended stay in the hospital, your older parent may always need more help and support and that they may never be quite the same. Families can find this difficult, but with the right care and support, there’s no reason why they can’t still have a fantastic quality of life.

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