After an illness or accident which requires your mother to be admitted into a short term rehab facility, it is normal for you to feel an entire range of emotions. You can expect to feel immense amounts of stress, worry, confusion and uncertainty about how you can help your mother during her recovery.
There are things you can do to make your mother as comfortable as possible—and give yourself a small degree of control over the situation. Following these suggestions can help you and your mother make it through this difficult period.
Make sure your mother has all the necessary items for her full recovery and comfort.
Take the time to gather together mom’s personal toiletries, clothing, medication, and other items which will make her time during rehabilitation less unpleasant. Consider packing:
- Your mother’s favorite toiletries—preferred brands of toothpaste, shampoo and soap. Consider packing some make-up items if you feel your mother would appreciate them.
- Comfortable clothing and shoes for relaxing and sleeping. Try to include at least one nice outfit, if you think your mother would enjoy dressing up on occasion.
- All of your mother’s current medications, contact information for her doctors and family members, along with over-the-counter medication which she commonly uses.
- A few favorite books, photos, or hobby supplies to help her pass the time.
What you don’t take is equally as important as what you choose to pack. You should leave excessive money, valuable watches, credit cards, jewelry, and even irreplaceable sentimental items at home.
Take care of the financial issues.
While your mother is concentrating on her recovery, she should not have to worry about paying the bills or maintaining her home. Before your mother is admitted, you should:
- Make arrangements to help your mom pay the bills at home. Ask your mother about her mortgage payments, reoccurring bills, and other ongoing expenses;
- Speak with someone from the rehab facility's billing department to figure out the payments for any expenses;
- Ask your mother how she wants to handle Social Security, or other income while she is being treated, and
- Cancel subscriptions, arrange for yard and pet care, and ask the post office to temporary stop making deliveries.
Speak with the rehab staff to plan for at-home aftercare.
You may feel uncomfortable speaking to the staff about the personal medical issues your mother is facing, but it is critical if you want to help her get better. Knowing the answers to these questions is an important step in helping her to heal once she leaves the short-term rehab:
- Will your mother need in-home, professional assistance once therapy is complete?
- Are there any physical or dietary restrictions that will help your mother’s continued recovery?
- Is there any special equipment which would make your mother’s return home easier?
- When will she need to see a doctor again?
Prepare for the return of your mother.
Whether your mom is returning to her own home or staying with you, it is critical that her living space is set up to assist your mom in making a complete recovery.
Before your mother comes home from the short term rehab, think about:
- Renting or buying any necessary assistive devices.
- Planning for any professional assistance, if needed.
- Making it as easy as possible for her to get around the house. This may mean moving a bed onto the first floor or fitting the bathroom with safety bars.
- Scheduling time off from work when you can visit your mother to do any chores, drive her to any appointments, or just spend time with her.
The more actively you can participate in the recovery of your mom, the easier the process will be for both of you.