Once an aging loved one is discharged from a hospital stay, their doctor may suggest a short-term stay in an assisted living facility before the aging adult returns home. This is typically a short time of intensive therapy to promote recovery and healing. However, the idea of moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility even for a matter of weeks or months can be extremely difficult to accept.
How can you help a senior during a short-term stay in an assisted living facility? There are several actions you can take to help overcome feelings of anxiety, fear, and homesickness during a temporary facility stay.
- Make frequent visits. With care professionals tending to the senior’s every care need, it can be easy to feel like short or infrequent visits will be enough. However, your presence and companionship are vital during this time. Pack a sandwich and join the person for lunch. Play cards and games together. Bring a book for the older adult to read when you’re gone, and read the same book yourself, so you can discuss it together. You could also simply sit in their company and lend a listening ear for whatever is on their heart.
- Individualize the room. Basic necessities like a dresser, bed, and chair are provided by the facility. Make the space feel much more like home by bringing in items like a favorite pillow and quilt, family photos, and other small memorabilia. Pack their favorite lotion, shampoo, as well as other personal care items, along with comfortable clothes. Use caution, however, about bringing any items of value or special significance. Apply this to their clothing as well, which may be misplaced or taken to the wrong person during the laundering process.
- Be a motivator. Your family member will have a regimen of exercises and activities to work on with their physical, speech, and/or occupational therapist. If the aging adult and the staff will allow it, attend therapy sessions with the person. Find out what’s involved in their recovery process, and exactly how you can best provide encouragement. For instance, they may be encouraged to walk as much as possible. Taking walks together during your visits can offer the motivation they need to reach their goals.
Also feel free to consult the doctor about whether or not in-home recovery is an option. If that’s the case, JFS Care is here to help each step of the way! We can start by helping to ready the home for when the person is discharged from the hospital. This can include grocery shopping so there are sufficient amounts of healthy food options available, picking up prescriptions, and performing a safety check to minimize fall risks. When the senior gets back home, we can help prepare meals, provide medication reminders, take care of light housekeeping, assist with walking and transfers, and so much more. Through it all, we are here with friendly companionship to brighten the process of recovery at home.
If a loved one has an upcoming short-term stay in an assisted living facility, contact us any time online or give us a call at 213-383-2273 for more information about how we can help with in-home post-hospitalization care services in Burbank and the nearby areas.