There is a certain, genuine feeling of pride and happiness that comes from seeing your elderly loved ones make a strong recovery from an injury or condition that had made the whole family feel so helpless. Even smaller accidents, illnesses, or surgeries can take an unforeseen emotional and physical toll.
When planning for your parents to return home after a major procedure or extended hospitalization, it’s important that you are prepared for their future care needs—especially the possibility of in-home care.
Even after rehabilitation–regardless of the type of procedure or the length or type of therapy–your loved one may still require daily, in-home care.
Even if you aren’t a nurse or registered eldercare provider, there are still things that you can do to make sure that your parents are safe and happy when they return home—and you may just find that you’re helping them recover, too.
When your parents finally come home after an extended stay at the hospital or a physical therapy program at a skilled nursing facility, they’re going to want to get back to life as normal as soon as possible.
And while you probably won’t be able to assist in their continued physical recovery, there are things you can do to make the transition back home as smooth as possible.
Making your loved ones house more comfortable for your parents’ return will go a long way towards helping make their recovery a lasting one— and it can help bring you both some peace of mind in what can otherwise be a stressful, worrisome situation.
Set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Pull out the nice sheets. And have a plate of their favorite cookies waiting, fresh from the oven, when they walk through the door.
The smallest things can make the biggest difference.
Thousands of elderly Americans fall at home each year.
In 2002, more than 12,800 people over the age of 65 died from fall-related injuries and an additional 1.6 million were treated in emergency rooms. And older adults who are still recovering from a major procedure or illness can be at particular risk.
While walkers and canes are can help older adults remain mobile where ever they may be, there are a few things you can do to make specific areas of your parents’ home more accessible, and, most importantly, safe before your parents leave the hospital or transitional care at a skill nursing facility.
You don’t even need to hire a contractor.
- Make sure the pathways– both inside and outside of the house–are clear of cords, books, papers, towels, blankets, and other debris that can get underfoot.
- Check to make sure all steps, on both indoor staircases and pathways outside of the house, are even and unbroken, well-lit, and that handrails are tightly secured and able to bear weight.
- Install assistive devices like handrails and grab bars, non-slip treads for smooth surfaces, raised toilet seats, shower chairs, and removable showerhead.
While it can be a tedious, even exhausting, process, making sure your parents’ home is as prepared for their return can help them avoid serious injury and return trip to the hospital. And, as an added bonus, making your loved ones’ living environment safer can help make them feel more comfortable, too.
Anything Is Possible
With the proper balance of home safety and in-home care, your parents can return to ‘life as normal’ after an illness or injury. And the small steps you take to ensure that your parents are safe and cared for means less stress for you, and a better quality of life for your loved ones.