Rehab to Home: How to Make Sure Your Aging Parent Can Thrive After Release from a Senior Rehab Facility
As I write this post, my mother-in-law has just been released from a rehab unit in a central Indiana senior community and nursing facility. Mom has been in this facility for several months after a serious fall. As with many senior citizens, Mom has faced many health challenges (pneumonia, congestive heart failure, kidney disease and more). She and my father-in-law are both under the care of many healthcare specialists, and they take dozens of prescription pills each day. As Mom continues to regain her strength, she and Dad will be staying in my brother-in-law’s home. Obviously, this home-away-from-home situation presents its own challenges. If you are facing a similar situation for an aging parent relocating to your home for primary family caregiving, do you know how to ensure that your elderly parent has a better chance of staying safe and healthy? Here are some tips from BrightStar Care of Hamilton County and Zionsville:
The first priority in helping a senior parent thrive in your home after release from a rehab facility is to make sure they remain safe from accidents. Because many older persons can be weak, they can be prone to falling. To minimize this risk, make sure your home – especially primary walking paths – are clutter free. [link to previous post] If your parent uses a walker, wheelchair or power-assisted chair for mobility, make sure furniture is positioned in a way to allow easy access to necessary parts of the home. You should also consider installing handrails in bathrooms.
Health and strength
After release from rehab, it might be tempting to let your aging parent relax and stop doing senior strength building and mental exercises that were part of their rehab therapy. It’s important, however, to encourage your parent to continue to exercise as directed by rehab therapists or other healthcare professionals. It might be necessary to have a home health and strength therapist come to your home. BrightStar can help you arrange this. Also, make sure you and your senior parents understand how and when to take their prescription medicines, along with all potentially harmful food and drug interactions. BrightStar can also assist with administering medicine if needed.
Because bathing can be physically challenging for your senior loved one, especially in a home designed for those with no physical limitations, you may need to assist your parent with hygiene. If your parent(s) will be staying in your home long-term, you also might need to take these measures [link to bathroom safety article] to make sure your bathroom is safer for proper personal hygiene. Remember that BrightStar can also assist with personal care for seniors when needed.
Happiness and sense of purpose
If your elderly parents are no longer in their home, they can become depressed and feel as if they are a burden on you and your family. They might feel as if they have lost a sense of purpose, and this state of mind can affect their health. To the extent possible, give your aging parents their personal space in your home. Ask them to assist with safe and simple chores. Get their advice when appropriate. Let them share their memories with your children. Measures like these can make your senior parents feel wanted and needed.
At BrightStar Care, we know that providing caregiving for senior parents in your home can be challenging for all involved, especially if you – as a family caregiver – are part of the “sandwich generation” and have a career to maintain. [links to two posts] When you need help, contact us today at 317.706.0799. If you don’t need our services right away, be sure to follow this blog and connect with us on Facebook.
For the BrightStar Care Team
Serving Hamilton County and Zionsville in Central Indiana
At BrightStar Care, we look forward to serving you personally if you are located in central Indiana in Hamilton County (including Noblesville, Carmel, Fishers, Arcadia, Westfield, Eagle Village and neighboring communities) or in the Zionsville area in Boone County.