Hospitalizations can take a toll on your senior parent's emotional state. Although there are some instances in which hospitalizing your parent is absolutely necessary, there are many other situations that are preventable. Here are some ways you can keep your parent on the path of good health and avoid the hospital.
Hire a Home Health Care Aide
Your parent's age does not automatically mean that he or she needs assistance in the home. However, your parent's health is a good indicator of whether or not additional help could prevent a hospital stay. If his or her health is declining, a home health care aide can help with your parent's daily routine.
Another added benefit of having an aide is that you will have someone who sees your parent on a regular basis who will notice any changes to his or her physical and mental health. If the aide notices any changes, you can have your parent evaluated by his or her medical care provider and possibly receive treatment, which could keep your parent out of the hospital.
Evaluate the Home for Possible Safety Hazards
Falls account for a large share of the accidents that land senior citizens in the hospital. Falls are not 100-percent preventable, but you can significantly lower the possibility of your parent falling by assessing the safety of his or her home and making modifications.
For instance, you can install grab bars in the bathtub to make it easier for your parent to get in and out. You also need to look for potential problems, such as loose carpeting and poorly lit areas of the home. In addition to these measures, you can move items that your parent uses the most from high areas to low ones so they are easier to reach.
Encourage Your Parent to Get Active
Exercise is a way to build up your parent's flexibility and mobility. It can also help with improving balance and coordination. All of these are important to helping your parent avoid falling. The benefits can spread to other areas of your parent's health, too. For instance, exercise can help him or her lose weight, which can be useful in treating diabetes and heart disease.
Before your parent starts on an exercise regimen though, talk to his or her doctor. The doctor can recommend a level of activity for your parent. He or she can even refer your parent to a physical therapist to help with customized exercises.