Turkey, Pumpkin Pie, and… a Trip to the Emergency Center?
- By: Scott Vanderhoef
- Benefits of Home Care
While we may well visualize a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the entire family enjoying quality time with each other and Grandma’s customary food, the truth for a number of families includes something unexpected: a trip to the hospital. The fact is, statistics illustrate that emergency center visits for older adults increase an astounding 10% – 20% during the holidays.
While identifying the exact reasoning regarding this increase is hard, one factor may be members of the family who haven’t spent time with an older relative within the months just before the holidays, come home for a visit and then determine that the relative’s situation 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 six months, you may not be fully aware of the aging process and her health in general.”
- Record key contact information for the senior’s primary care physician as well as other specialists. Include all prescribed medications by each healthcare professional and any drug allergies or other issues. Getting in touch with the physician for advice regarding your concerns is an excellent initial step over an emergency center visit, unless the senior is experiencing a genuine emergency.
- Talk with your loved one about assigning a health care proxy, who’s able to serve as a voice for making health choices in the event that the older adult is not able to do so. Make sure a living will is also in place.
- Check in with the older adult regularly throughout the year. For families who live far away, it could be beneficial to enlist the assistance of your loved one’s neighbors or close friends to visit the senior regularly and to help keep you updated with any changes they see.
A reliable in-home care agency, like Heaven at Home Senior Care serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is the ideal year-round solution to guarantee older adults stay healthy and well, and that any variations in circumstances are discussed immediately – making sure the holiday season remains as festive and pleasant as it ought to be. Just a few of the many ways we are able to help are:
- Planning and cooking nutritious, delicious meals, in compliance with any dietary constraints.
- Providing accompanied transport to doctor appointments and procedures, exercise programs, and enjoyable outings.
- Evaluating the home for fall hazards and suggesting adjustments to ensure safety.
- Assisting with safe ambulation and transfers.
- Personal care such as bathing, showering, and using the restroom.
- And much more, in accordance with each person’s individual needs.