After a hospitalization or surgical procedure, the doctor may recommend a short-term rehab stay prior to when the person returns home. This is usually a time of intensive therapy to promote recovery and healing. However, the thought of moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility even for a few weeks or months can be exceedingly tough to accept.
How can you help a loved one 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 short-term facility stay.
Personalize the room. The facility will supply 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 shampoo, lotion, and other personal care items, along with comfortable clothes. Use caution, however, about bringing any items of value or special significance. This applies to clothing as well, which could get lost or taken to the wrong person during the laundering process.
Visit often. You might feel as though the senior is receiving all the care they need, and that short or infrequent visits are fine. However, your presence and companionship are indispensable during this period. Pack a sandwich and join the person for lunch. Play cards and games together. Bring a book for the individual to read when you’re gone, and read the same book yourself, so you can discuss it together. Or simply sit with them and invite them to talk about whatever is on their heart.
Be a motivator. Your family member will have a regimen of exercises and activities to focus on with their physical, speech, and/or occupational therapist. If the senior and staff agree, attend therapy sessions along 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 as much as possible. Taking walks together during your visits can offer the motivation they need to reach their goals.
You can also ask the physician if in-home recovery is an option. If so, The Care Company is here to assist every step of the way! We can begin by helping to prepare the house 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 reduce fall risks. Once back at home, we can provide medication reminders, prepare meals, take care of light housekeeping, help with walking and transfers, and so much more. Through it all, we are here with friendly companionship to brighten the process of recovery at home.