Eldercare at Home: Helping with Recovery from Illness

Home  /  Caregivers  /  Eldercare at Home: Helping with Recovery from Illness

On March 20, 2013, Posted by , In Caregivers, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Eldercare at Home: Helping with Recovery from Illness

Taking care of a family member who is recovering from surgery or an illness can be very demanding for both the caregiver and the person who receives care. You may need to purchase or rent medical equipment and assistive devices. If so, check the yellow pages in your phone book for local medical equipment companies. Hospital staff (nurses, therapists, and social workers, and discharge planners) can tell you what equipment you will need and will make suggestions about how to obtain it. The doctor can arrange for visiting nurses and therapists to visit the home to assess your equipment needs and to show you how to use it.

Your number one goal is to provide safety, support, encouragement, and assistance to the older person. Tender loving care is the best way to boost the person’s spirits. Keep in mind that he or she was once independent and now needs to depend on you for encouragement and assistance.

Give the older person as much control as possible. You should involve him or her in the decision-making process. Ask questions such as, “What clothes would you like to wear today?” and “When would you like to take a walk?”

As the older person becomes stronger, do not rush him or her into new activities. It takes time to gain strength. The older person may not want to do new exercises, saying, “I can’t,” but really meaning, “I’m scared.” Introduce new activities slowly and explain them in detail.

It is a myth that bed rest is good for a person recuperating from illness or surgery. Sitting or lying in bed can cause many problems to the body such as pressure ulcers, chest infections, like pneumonia, muscles shrinking away, reflexes becoming inactive, and blood pressure increasing. In addition to these problems, a person who remains in bed for several days and then gets up may experience dizziness, fainting, stiff joints, weakness, and problems with muscle malfunction (muscles that don’t communicate with the brain). You should encourage the person to get out of bed as soon as the person is medically cleared to get up.

Your goals are to:

  • Prepare a room where the older person can be cared for
  • Make sure the older person is comfortable
  • Be encouraging about progress
  • Prevent the complications of bed rest

When to Get Professional Help:

  • Any new symptoms
    New symptoms mean a change in the older person’s condition and should be reported to the doctor or nurse. Report any symptom that suddenly becomes more severe or difficult to manage. This usually means a change in the older person’s condition that the doctor or nurse should know about.
  • If you have questions about medicines
    Call the doctor or nurse when you are uncertain about what time to give medicines or whether or not to give them with food. Call the primary care doctor if another doctor has prescribed medicine and you are not sure the new medicine should be given along with the old medicines. You can also call a pharmacist and ask if certain medicines can be or should not be given together.
  • If you need to learn nursing skills
    Ask the doctor or nurse practitioner for a referral to a home health agency if you need to learn basic nursing skills such as how to make a bed with someone in it or how to help an older person to stand up safely. Medicare will often pay for a home health nurse to visit the home, do a physical assessment, and teach home care skills to the family. This can often be done in only two visits and may qualify for Medicare reimbursement.

Know the answers to the following questions before calling the doctor

  • Where is the symptom located?
  • What is the symptom like, including its severity?
  • When is the symptom better or worse?
  • What medicine is the older person taking? Include prescription, non-prescription, and any herbal or alternative therapies.

Source:  http://www.healthinaging.org

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Macomb County or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

Comments are closed.