When your loved one has survived a stroke, they are working hard to adjust to their 'new normal'. While they may be eager to get home from the hospital, some crucial adjustments need to be made to their home in order to keep them safe and mobile.
Preparations will vary depending on the severity of the stroke, and your loved one's physical limitations. Here are some things to consider as you get ready to bring your loved one home.
Start with a walk-through
Considering your loved ones mobility, and any assistance that they'll need to get around. For example, if they are using a walker, you'll want to measure the width of the walker, and move the furniture to allow for easier access.
Make sure that any rugs or bath mats are slip proof. Install grab bars, particularly for getting in and out of the bathtub or shower. You may want to install a bath & shower seat, to allow them to bathe without strain.
Provide easy access
Place frequently used items within reach in the kitchen, bathroom, and nightstand. For example, you may need to re-shelve cups, glasses, plates, and basic pots and pans. Provide a reading lamp within reach on the nightstand, and move the clock closer to their bed. If necessary, you may want to provide a commode for easier nighttime use.
At Caring Hands Caregivers, we have qualified staff to help your loved one adjust and care for your loved one in their home, post-stroke. We can accompany you on the walk-through, make recommendations, and provide on-going guidance as needs change. To get started, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of us Baby Boomers are part of what is know as the Sandwich Generation. This is the generation that is busy raising children in the home and facing the reality that our parents are aging and are not as vibrant as they once were just a few years ago. Sometimes the changes in our parents are sudden like a broken hip due to a fall or a stroke. But most times, the changes are slow, and many times almost imperceptible as time marches on. It is critical to recognize the subtle warning signs, telling you that intervention may be needed. Our parents come from a generation of self-sufficiency; they are fiercely independent and will do almost anything short of asking for help to maintain that independence. The home they have build and lived in is the center of their security, and they want to stay there. Providing the proper support system for them can actually enhance their independence, not diminish it.
What are the warning signs that should prompt a closer look by the kids? Here are some common warning signs:
1. Missing important appointments
2. Spoiled food that doesn’t get thrown away
3. Unexplained bruising
4. Stacks of unopened mail
5. Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care
6. Poor diet or weight loss
7. Changes in moods or extreme mood swings
8. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
9. House cluttered and un-kept
10. Smell of urine in the house
11. Medication errors or omission
12. Refrigerator and cabinets empty
13. Getting lost
14. Increased visits to the emergency room
15. Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks
While a large distance between you and your parents makes it more difficult to determine if and when help is needed, you can look for some clues. For example, listen for a change in how one parent talks about the other. If one parent starts to express concern about the other, it could be a subtle hint that something has changed. Maybe your Dad confides that he is concerned about your Mom because she is increasingly confused and disoriented. Given how fiercely independent this generation is, it is important to take these comments seriously. Alternatively, if you are concerned that something may not be all right with your parent or parents, talk with the neighbors next time you go back to visit. Many times they will be able to provide valuable insights into how your parents are coping day-to-day.
The good news is that there are a lot of resources and options for how you can help your parents. Next post, I’ll take you through a summary of some of these options to help you navigate the parent care landscape. My hope is that having some information will relieve some of the pressure of being the meat in the Sandwich Generation.
Depression among the elderly often goes untreated, as the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of aging. Anywhere from 14-20% of seniors exhibit some depressive symptoms. That percentage is significantly higher for seniors in long-term care facilities.
Some potential symptoms of depression in seniors include:
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from depression, they can get a thorough screening assessment free of charge for seniors covered by Medicare. Treatment that includes therapy, medication, or some combination has proven to be effective in many cases. However, keeping involved in social interactions is key to making any treatment work.
If your loved one in the San Francisco Bay Area is in need of some help planning and getting to social activities, we can help by providing hourly care. Just send me an email, and we can schedule an in-home care assessment.