Even though we might imagine a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving gathering, with the entire family relishing quality time together and Grandma’s classic food, the truth for a lot of families consists of something unanticipated: a visit to the hospital. The fact is, studies illustrate that emergency room visits for older adults jump an astounding 10% – 20% during the holidays.
While pinpointing the actual reasoning behind this increase is challenging, it isn’t surprising that one component could be members of the family who have not spent time with an elderly relative within the months prior to the holiday season, going home and identifying that their loved one’s condition has deteriorated.
Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital explains, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in 6 months, you may not be fully aware of the aging process and her health in general.”
There are lots of proactive steps that family members may take in order to prevent a holiday emergency situation:
- Record key contact information for your loved one’s primary care physician and other specialists. Include all prescribed medications by each doctor and any drug allergies or other issues. Calling the correct physician for guidance about your worries is a great first step over an emergency room visit, unless of course the senior is having a genuine emergency.
- Talk with your loved one about assigning a health care proxy, who’s able to serve as a voice in making health decisions in the event that your senior loved one is not able to do this. Ensure a living will is in place.
- Check in with the older adult regularly all year. For families who live at a distance, it can be important to enlist the assistance of your loved one’s neighbors or friends to visit the senior regularly and to keep you updated with any irregularities they see.
An established in-home care agency in St. Petersburg FL, like Generations at Home, is the perfect year-round solution to make certain seniors continue to be healthy and well, and that any variations in condition are addressed immediately – making sure the holiday season stays as festive and pleasant as it should be. Just some of the countless ways we are able to help are:
- Planning and preparing nutritious, delicious meals, in compliance with any dietary limitations
- Providing accompanied transport to medical appointments and procedures, exercise programs, and fun outings
- Examining the house for fall hazards and suggesting adjustments to ensure safety
- Helping with safe ambulation and transfers
- Personal care such as bathing, showering, and using the restroom
- And so much more, according to each person’s individual needs
Call us at 727-940-3414 to request a free in-home consultation for more information on ways that we can help increase safety and overall well-being for your senior loved one.