Although our business is providing home care services for those in the San Francisco area, we know there are problems seniors face all across the nation. As we age, our physical and mental health often slowly decline. The elderly are more prone to accidents and at a higher risk of some medical conditions. No one wants to spend time in the hospital, and sometimes it’s unavoidable. However there are many things seniors can do to help prevent a hospital stay – and caregivers can help too, whether you’re the adult child of an elderly parent or a professional at senior caregiving.
Unfortunately, many older individuals who must be hospitalized find they never regain the physical strength they enjoyed prior to a stay in the hospital. This is one of the biggest fears among the elderly and their children – that they won’t enjoy the same level of independence they once enjoyed. The good news is that according to research, almost half of the hospitalizations involving seniors can be prevented. Although doctors and other health care professionals play a vital role in keeping seniors at home and out of the hospital, family plays an important role as well.
As a senior or someone who cares for an elderly client, there are several important ways to help avoid a hospital stay.
First, never ignore symptoms of underlying medical issues. Symptoms of diabetes such as extreme thirst, frequent urination, weakness, or sweating should not be ignored. Chest pains and other symptoms should never be ignored. When something unusual or “not normal” happens with the body it is important to see the doctor right away.
That brings up the next point – follow doctor’s orders! It doesn’t do much good to see the doctor if the instructions given regarding medications, activity, rest, and other guidance is ignored. If you’re a patient, follow the doctor’s orders; if you’re a caregiver, make sure the patient is taking medication as prescribed, getting the required rest, etc.
Reduce the risk of accidents and falls. This is something caregivers can help with. A senior’s home should be clutter free so that he/she can easily navigate without falling or tripping risks. In the bathroom, consider a non-slip mat in the tub, grab bar, and other safety precautions. At night, a night-light may be a good idea for a senior who frequently gets up to go to the bathroom. Do everything possible to make an elderly person’s home safe and reduce accident/fall risks.
Maintaining a healthy diet and staying mentally/physically active are other important factors in staying well, and avoiding the hospital. Engage in daily exercise even if it’s a short walk, read, work crossword puzzles, or get on the computer to stay mentally active, eat a diet rich in fiber that includes fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, protein.
By taking these steps, seniors are often able to avoid hospital stays.
At Care Indeed, our San Francisco home care providers offer a wide array of services for every need. Contact us today, and let our compassionate caregivers help assist you in caring for an elderly loved one.