Bridging the Gap Between Hospital and Home

Is your loved one ready to come home after being in the hospital for an illness or surgery? While that means your loved one is healing, it also means you will take on the new role of caregiver.

Being a caregiver takes patience, planning, and time. You may now find yourself doing a variety of things for your loved one, such as: picking up prescriptions, doing chores, running errands, and getting your loved one to doctor's appointments. You also may be responsible for keeping track of and administering medications, and helping to make any medical decisions that may come up.

Be Prepared

As a caregiver, it's important that you know what to expect as you care for your loved one. While your loved one is still in the hospital, observe the kind of daily care he or she receives. And talk to the nurses or doctors about what you will need to do once your loved one gets home.

Organize the home to make life easier when your loved one arrives:
  • Put important information in one place
  • Make a medication chart
  • Keep a calendar for doctor's appointments
  • Make a list of emergency numbers

Also consider how your loved one will get around the house. Will he or she need a wheelchair or walker? Will you need to move furniture? What kind of help will you have to provide your loved one in regards to personal hygiene? Do you need to outfit your house with any special equipment, such as ramps, beds, special toilet seats or bath bars?

Take Care of Yourself, Too

Focusing on helping your loved one recover at home can feel like a full-time job. But it's important to focus some attention on yourself, too. Caregivers often sacrifice their own needs for days, or even months, at a time. This can be harmful to you and your loved one.

There are factors that you should recognize when you are having trouble dealing with the stress of being a caregiver. They include:
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Poor eating habits
  • Lack of exercise
  • Failure to rest when you're ill
  • Postponement of your own medical appointments
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
  • Depression

Get Help

It is important to accept what you can and can't change. One of the best things you can do is to accept help, and ask for help. Be willing to accept if friends, neighbors or family members offer to cook, clean or take your loved one to doctor's appointments.

You should also consider talking to your loved one's doctor. The doctor understands just how difficult the situation can be, and he or she can recommend outside resources to help, such as Fayette Home Care and Hospice.

Fayette Home Care and Hospice offers everything from an occasional hand to regular visits by licensed nurses, physical therapists or personal-care aides.
And many times, our services are covered by insurance.

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