What you can do to help your loved one get better faster after a hospital or rehab stay
Before we begin this discussion, I want to thank all the people who read my blog. Your feedback helps me to know that the recommendations I give are actionable and helpful!
Recently, we have been discussing strategies for reducing the cost of in-home care. Also, many great questions have come up from the last two sessions of ONE FALL CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING and that is what has inspired me to begin this series on how to help your loved one get better faster after a hospital or rehab stay. The cost of in-home care skyrockets when an aging loved one is hospitalized and or placed in a rehabilitation facility. The sooner they get better, the lower the cost of care. So why does being in the hospital or rehab so threatening to the independence of an older adult? There are 3 reasons;
Inactivity. Physical inactivity weakens the human body. When you put an older person in a hospital, the environment is new, different, and frightening and the doctor might order bed rest or the nurses keep the patients in the bed to avoid falls. For every day that an older adult stays in a bed, he/she loses 3-5 days of body strength and up to seven days for patients with Parkinson's.
Dehydration. The human body needs two liters of fluid per day and most often the hospital patient gets dehydrated from a change in nutrition.
Complexity. The complexity of the medical incident that took them to the hospital in the first place. How can you help your loved one? Start by having an advocate or family member at their bedside to provide mental stimulation, reassurance, reorientation, and advocacy. Someone who can tell you what is happening' at the hospital and who can ensure that your loved one is getting good care.