Being sick is no fun, and when it happens to your aging parents, it can be a painful experience for both of you. There are several areas that seniors tend to struggle with after a hospital stay, but with a little help from you, perhaps it doesn’t have to be such a negative experience.
Be Their Advocate
Dealing with doctor and hospital bill can be terribly confusing for anyone, especially for those seniors who are dealing with a measure of dementia. Get in touch with their insurance company and discuss in detail any areas of, and make sure that pre-authorization is in place. Those facilities which utilize Managed Care Consultants can be more reasonable to work with.
Help With Aftercare
If you are able, try to be present at the hospital at the time discharge orders are given. Ascertain whether your parents fully understand the instructions given and ask any questions that are needed for clarity. Pick up needed prescriptions or medical equipment and help set things up. Take them for follow-up appointments or physical therapy, if needed and see that they are getting the physical activity prescribed.
Manage Meals and Medications
Especially hen elderly people are ill, they may forget or be too drowsy to take their medications properly. It can help to set alerts, make lists and use a pill organizer. Some pharmacy’s will even create pill packs which include everything that needs to be take at once. Many medications must be taken with food, so take care to explain those. Bring home a selection of snacks and easy to prepare meals. Choosing some of their favorites may help with a low appetite. Meals on Wheels or a similar service may be a good idea as well.
If you and your parents do not share the same residence, consider hiring someone to come in part or full time to help with household chores, preparing meals and running laundry. Making the appropriate preparations can help you and your parents both feel more secure and allow them to focus on getting well.