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At-Home Recovery: Senior Assistance [Updated 2021]

Your 1+1 Team
June 21, 2020

Professional Recovery Senior Assistance – At-Home Recovery

Does your elderly family member require surgery or a major medical procedure in the new year? When your parent or loved one is hospitalized for a procedure or a sudden illness, it can be an incredibly stressful and hectic time for your family. It’s also a common scenario: people age 65 or older comprise 43% of inpatient operations. The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated surgery visits and hospitalization, as extra precautions are needed to protect your aging family member before, during, and after their visit. Many other factors contribute to the challenge and stress of at-home recovery care.

First, there’s the risk of readmittance if things don’t go well. Readmission risk factors include cognitive impairment and risk of falling. Success also greatly depends on having the right support at home, after discharge. Without adequate preparation and ongoing support, nearly 20% of seniors are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being sent home.

Seniors also take more time to heal, generally. Healing (for example, from wounds) is a slower process and it’s imperative to “vigorously” treat your loved one for maximum healing.

Another challenge and stressor is that hospital discharge often occurs quickly and not on a schedule. This can leave a family scrambling to get things in order in preparation for their family member’s return home.

Last but not least is the toll it takes on you. But you’re not alone. Enter: professional at-home recovery assistance from a trusted, vetted caregiver. At-home recovery assistance is typically performed by a qualified caregiver for non-medical activities and by a medical home health aide for medical-related activities. Please read on for some general tips to make the at-home recovery process as smooth and safe as possible, for all involved.

Are You OK? Check-in With Yourself First

We know that at-home recovery is hard. According to the Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 report (from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving), 36% of family caregivers say their situation is highly stressful. The situation can be a grind. It tests your patience and it can lead to fatigue, guilt, and frustration.

The American Psychological Association finds that older caregivers (age 55 to 75) have a 23% higher level of stress. It also reduces the body’s ability to fight illness—family caregivers have a 15% lower level of immune response. Which puts you at risk for burnout and illness, and that’s not helpful for you or your aging family member.

Are you feeling some of these effects? Check in with yourself. You might consider taking this “How Are You?” self-assessment. The Alzheimer’s Association also shares 10 signs that you may be experiencing the stress and challenge of at-home recovery care. These include:

  • Anger or frustration toward the person you’re caring for
  • Anxiety
  • Denial about your loved one’s condition
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion (which can make it tough to complete your daily tasks)
  • Health problems, such as getting sick more often
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Social withdrawal from friends and activities that you used to enjoy

Source: How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout, AARP

Improve the At-Home Recovery Process

At-home recovery assistance is a challenging situation to navigate, but there are steps you can take to make it easier. Some suggested steps include:

  • Get organized. Create a list of things that your elderly family member will need. This may include critical items like prescription medication, but what about other equipment like a walker, compression socks, a bathing bench, or an elevation pillow? Creating an early plan will reduce the need to hurry to obtain these things. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also help limit the number of in-person visits you or a trusted caregiver need to make. You might also create an easy-to-read and accessible list of phone numbers to call, should your loved one or caregiver need this information.
  • Prepare the space. You may need to relocate living spaces, such as temporarily moving a bed from an upstairs floor to the main or ground floor. Or you may need to re-arrange things in the home to remove obstacles and reduce the risk of further harm. Think about how aging adults are likely to move around throughout a given day. What will they need access to? What might pose a danger? Another part of preparation is meals. Plan to stock the home with healthy and recommended foods to have on hand following discharge.
  • Make it comfortable. Recovery can be a stressful and challenging experience for all involved. Make the home as comfortable as possible with familiar items and favorite activities. This might include photo albums, books, magazines, music and CDs, and special foods.
  • Be a part of the process. Recovery doesn’t end with discharge. Your senior family member will likely need further visits to the doctor or clinic. When possible, accompany him/her to these appointments. You’ll stay informed and your presence may also bring comfort to you and your loved one. You can share information that your senior may have trouble recalling. If you live far away from your aging parent, a trusted caregiver can also fulfill this role.
  • Don’t push it. Take your time. If your loved one has a stubborn streak, remind them of the doctor’s instructions and limitations. A trusted in-home caregiver can also perform many of the duties while your family member recovers. This may include housecleaning, animal care, light chores, and simply lifting or reaching things that are challenging for your loved one. Find moments to take a break, and communicate with your extended family and friends for support. Try your best to eat well and partake in healthy activities, like exercise. You might also consult the U.S. government’s Eldercare Locator (or call 800-677-1116) to find local resources and help.

A Trusted In-Home Caregiver Can Help

Recovery can encompass a broad scope of post-discharge doctor’s orders, personal care, medication reminders, and other essential elements. You may find it very difficult to handle all of this on your own, on top of everything else you need to do. Professional at-home recovery assistance can make it safer and easier for both your loved one and your family, and you!

Since 2007, our mission has been to make high-quality, affordable care accessible. We provide meaningful impact for the people who need assistance, the families who love them, and the caregivers who perform these critical services. At 1+1 Cares, our goal is to make this process easy and affordable. Referring you to a qualified caregiver is our way to relieve some of your stress and uncertainty during these periods of at-home recovery.

Caregivers can help ensure that an individual’s recovery is fully supported with activities such as:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Eating and cooking
  • Companionship
  • Transporting
  • Transferring
  • Dressing
  • Bathing

At 1+1 Cares, we’ve got you covered. We have a large and competitive pool of qualified caregivers. Which means you’ll not only connect with the ideal person but you’ll also have options for backup caregivers at your service. This is important should your main caregiver(s) become unavailable during the recovery period.

To learn more about how your elderly loved one can benefit from our senior recovery assistance, please contact 1+1 Cares. Our dedicated team will refer the right caregiver to assist in a speedy recovery for your loved one.

1+1 Cares is seeking talented and caring individuals to provide quality senior home care in many cities and regions. If you want to pursue a new career or simply earn additional income helping local families, please sign up to give care today with 1+1 Cares.

1+1 Cares by serving as a family’s caregiving concierge.  1+1 Cares is a unique platform that synergizes premium service, qualified caregivers, and affordable rates.  By empowering families to make the right decisions, 1+1 Cares makes in-home care affordable and accessible.  1+1 Cares about you.

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