After a hospitalization or surgical procedure, the doctor may recommend short-term rehab in a facility prior to the person returning home. This is usually a time of intensive therapy to boost healing and recovery. However, the notion of moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home even for a few weeks or months can be exceedingly hard to accept.
What are the best ways to help a family member through this challenging life event? There are a number of actions you can take to help overcome feelings of anxiety, fear, and homesickness during a temporary facility stay.
- Personalize the room. The facility will provide the bare necessities: a bed, chair, and dresser. Make the space feel more like home by bringing in items like a favorite quilt and pillows, family photos, along with other small memorabilia. Pack their favorite lotion, shampoo, and other personal care items, together with comfortable clothes. Be cautious, however, about bringing any items of value or special significance. This applies to clothing as well, which might get lost or delivered to the wrong person during the laundering process.
- Visit often. You may feel as though the senior is receiving all of the care they need, and that infrequent or short visits are fine. However, your presence and companionship are vital during this time. Pack a sandwich and join the person for lunch. Play cards and games together. Bring a book for the senior to read when you are gone, and read the same book yourself, so you can discuss it together. Or simply sit with them and invite them to share whatever is on their heart.
- Be a motivator. Your family member will have a regimen of exercises and activities to work on with their physical, occupational, and/or speech therapist. If the individual and staff agree, attend therapy sessions together with the person. Find out what’s involved with their recovery process, and exactly how you can best provide encouragement. For instance, they may be encouraged to walk whenever possible. Taking walks together during your visits can provide the motivation they need to reach their goals.
You can also ask the physician if in-home recovery is an alternative. If that’s the case, Radiant Health Services is here to assist every step of the way! We can begin by helping to prepare the home for the person’s discharge from the hospital. This can include grocery shopping so there are plenty of healthy food options available, picking up prescriptions, and performing a safety check to minimize fall risks. Once back at home, we can provide medication reminders, prepare meals, take care of light housekeeping, help with transfers and walking, and so much more. Through it all, we are here with friendly companionship to brighten the process of recovery at home.