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How to Support a Senior During a Short-Term Stay at an Assisted Living Facility

assisted living facilities
Short-term stays at assisted living facilities can be challenging, but with the right support, seniors can thrive and recover.

After a hospitalization or surgical procedure, the physician may recommend rehab in an assisted living facility before the person returns home. This is typically a short-term time of intensive therapy to promote healing and recovery. However, the idea of moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home even for a matter of weeks or months can be extremely difficult to accept.

How can you help a person through this challenging life event? There are a number of actions you can take to help overcome feelings of fear, anxiety, and homesickness during a temporary facility stay.

  • Individualize the room. The facility will supply the bare necessities: a bed, dresser, and chair. Make the space feel more like home by bringing in belongings like a favorite quilt and pillows, family photos, and other small memorabilia. Pack their favorite lotion, shampoo, as well as other personal care items, along with comfortable clothes. Be cautious, however, about bringing any items of value or special significance. This applies to clothing as well, which might get lost or taken to the wrong person during the laundering process.
  • Visit often. You may feel as though the individual is receiving all of the care they need, and that infrequent or short visits are fine. However, your presence and companionship are vital during this time period. Pack a sandwich and join the person for lunch. Play games and cards together. Bring a book for the older adult to read when you are gone, and read the same book yourself, so you can discuss it together. Or simply sit with them and allow them to talk about whatever is on their heart.
  • Be a motivator. Your family member will have a regimen of exercises and activities to focus on with their physical, occupational, and/or speech therapist. If the individual and staff agree, attend therapy sessions along with the person. Find out what’s involved in their recovery process, and exactly how you can effectively provide encouragement. For instance, they might be encouraged to walk as much as possible. Taking walks together during your visits can provide the motivation they need to reach their goals.

You can also ask the physician if in-home recovery is an option. If so, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care is here to help every step of the way! We can begin by helping to ready the home for the person’s discharge from the hospital. This can include grocery shopping so there are plenty of healthy food options available, picking up prescriptions, and performing a safety check to help with fall prevention. Once back at home, we can provide medication reminders, take care of light housekeeping, prepare meals, help with walking and transfers, and so much more. Through it all, we are here with friendly companionship to brighten the process of recovery at home.

Contact us online any time or call us at (866) 229-2505 for more information about how we are able to help with in-home post-hospitalization care services in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Paw Paw, and St. Joseph!

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