November 4, 2018
Even though we may very well visualize a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the entire family savoring quality time with one another and Grandma’s classic feast, the reality for a lot of families includes something unforeseen: a trip to the hospital. The fact is, studies indicate that emergency room visits for seniors increase an astounding 10% – 20% over the holidays.
Despite the fact that identifying the actual reasons regarding this increase is difficult, it isn’t surprising that one component could be members of the family who haven’t spent time with an elderly relative in the months ahead of the holiday season, simply to observe then that his/her 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 many practical steps that family members can take to avoid an emergency, starting with these holiday safety tips for seniors:
- Document key contact information for your loved one’s physician as well as other specialists. Include all prescribed medications by each doctor and any drug allergies or other issues. Calling the appropriate physician for guidance about your worries is a great first step over a hospital visit, except if your senior loved one is experiencing a genuine emergency.
- Speak to your loved one about assigning a medical care proxy, who is able to serve as a voice for making health choices in the event that your senior loved one is unable to do this. Make sure a living will is in place.
- Check in with the senior regularly throughout the year. For families who live far away, it may be helpful to engage the help of your loved one’s neighbors or friends to see the senior frequently and to keep you up to date with any differences they see.
An experienced St. Louis in-home care agency, like Continuum, could be the perfect year-round approach to ensure your loved one remains healthy and well, and that any changes in condition are resolved as soon as possible – making sure the holiday season remains as festive and enjoyable as it ought to be. Just some of the countless ways we are able to assist include:
- Planning and creating healthy, delicious meals, in compliance with any dietary constraints
- Providing accompanied transportation to medical appointments and procedures, exercise programs, and fun excursions
- Assessing the home for fall hazards and recommending adjustments to ensure safety
- Assisting with safe and secure ambulation and transfers
- Personal care such as bathing, showering, and using the restroom
- And so much more, based upon each person’s unique needs
Call our St. Louis home care team today at (314) 863-9912 and learn why we’re the #1 providers of home health care St. Louis families trust and recommend most. You can also contact us online for a free in-home assessment or for more information on the specific ways that we can help increase safety and overall wellbeing for your senior loved one.