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Caring for a Senior After an Injury
The senior knows that they are getting older and they likely realize that an injury might create changes in their lifestyle. It is understandable and natural that they will have many fears and concerns. Maintaining the dignity of the senior while maintaining a calm environment during the healing process must be the goal.
One of the most distressing situations for a senior living independently is worrying about current bills and finances. Will they have enough money to pay for the hospital and any needed therapies? The family member who has accepted the role of caregiver will share this immense challenge and should reach out to other family members for a conference. Communication can help ease some of the confusion around these financial matters and pressing obligations.
The senior with the injury also doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone. The caregiver can help placate their fears, explain that they are aware of the situation and that the family is working through the bills with the insurance company or Medicare. The caregiver needs to help with coping mechanisms and keep the senior from getting worried about losing their residence or independent living situation by offering reassurance and comfort. Avoiding any and all confrontation with other relatives or siblings, who may have other ideas, can help maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
Many siblings have disagreements at this point regarding the senior parent’s home. One sibling might want to place their parent into an assisted nursing facility while another has clearly indicated they are willing to help take care of their parent as a full-time caregiver. The idea of leaving the family home is quite upsetting, and there are health care professionals who are available – working under nurses, who can come over to change bandages or administer medication. To stay at home and return to being independent should be the number one goal for everyone involved in the process. Medicare covers the benefits regarding home health care but it does not cover those who help with 24-hour care, bathing and bathroom visits, or cooking meals. Click on this link for more information regarding Medicare.
Sometimes the caregiver has to deal with the fact that his or her own mother or father does not want any help. They may resist help because of factors such as: a lack of privacy, pain, discomfort, mental impairment, new physical limitations and confusion. The parent is used to bathing themselves, combing their own hair and cooking their own food. This resistance is often challenging to the caregiver, but challenges will likely subside with proper communication. One idea for increasing communication is to make sure the senior can call the caregiver or the doctor at any time. If they don’t have a cell phone, perhaps this is the time to get one. Cell phones can serve as excellent resources for independent living. The Jitterbug from GreatCall offers one-touch operation and is easily programmed to call health care providers and emergency responders. The back lit panel and large buttons, enhanced audio, and 25 day battery charge make it an easy and reasonably priced choice for everyone.
Lastly, it’s also good to remember that the caregiver makes the doctor follow-up visits, drives the senior to the medical center, parks close to the door and assists the injured senior, often with the help of a wheel chair. Driving around and getting lost can cause even more worry and confusion for the patient. Garmin products creates a navigational system that can be worn on the wrist to make sure that the correct address is located in time – all through apps that you can download directly to your phone.
The future can be full of surprises, yet by offering hope for recovery, the caregiver can and will make a lasting difference.