Tuesday Tips for Caregivers: Reasons Why Your Aging Loved One May Visit the Hospital

Reasons Why Your Aging Loved One May Visit the Hospital

As your loved one ages, the likelihood of them having health complications becomes higher. Many times, health complications arise that are outside of anyone’s control. Unfortunately, hospital visits can be stressful and confusing, especially if you do not know what to expect. In this blog, ElderCare wants to cover different reasons why your loved one might visit the hospital and go over ways to make these hospital visits manageable and effective. We hope that you can learn how to prepare better for hospital visits when or if the occasion arises.

Reasons why your loved might go to the hospital:

(1) Falls and injuries: As we age, our bodies become weak and less agile. Falling down can become more of a risk, as well as seriously injuring our bodies. If your loved one falls, they have a higher chance of spraining or breaking something. Broken bones can be a tremendous health problem for aging individuals, especially since osteoporosis becomes more common in older age. Falls are one of the primary reasons why seniors go the emergency room.[1]

(2) Strokes: One common reason why aging individuals end up in the ER is because of strokes. These are serious events that occur when blood flow to the brain is cut off. As a result, brain cells do not receive enough oxygen and can die. Strokes can happen unexpectedly and can cause individuals to experience numbness on one side of their body, speech difficulties, dizziness, and a host of other problems. This requires immediate medical attention.

(3) Chest pains: Sometimes, seniors experience chest pains, which could indicate a serious problem like a heart condition. Other causes of chest pains may be reparatory infections or gastrointestinal problems.[2]

How to handle a doctor’s visit

If you are a family caregiver and are partly responsible for the activities and health-related matters of your loved one, then you may benefit from considering these tips:

(1) Familiarize yourself: If you are caring for an aging loved one, make sure you know exactly what kind of medical challenges they are facing. Not only will this make you understand how you can care for them at home, but it also allows you to communicate effectively if you ever accompany them to the doctor’s office or emergency room. That being said, whenever you are in a medical environmental or clinic, make sure you ask the medical professional about anything you don’t understand. Do not be afraid to ask questions!

(2) Always have an updated list of medicine: This is not only helpful for you, but it can be extremely beneficial for the doctor who is caring for your loved one. Because hospitals can be bureaucratic places and there is not yet a universal database on which everyone’s health information and history is stored, it can be difficult for medical institutions to share information quickly and efficiently. Having a copy of your loved one’s medical records on hand can help answer a lot of questions when the time arises.

(3) Prepare for your loved one’s discharge from the hospital[3]: Whenever it is time for your loved one to go back home, it is critical to understand what the next steps are to send them home. That means, listen to instructions about leaving the hospital or have medical professionals contact any facility in which your loved one is living. Also, ask for written instructions if necessary.

Visits to the hospital can be overwhelming. But information is there if you ask for it. Do not hesitate to contact ElderCare at Home at 561-585-0400 or visit our website.

[1] Source: https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/senior-emergency-room-visits/
[2] Source: https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/medicare-resources/top-10-reasons-seniors-go-emergency-room/
[3] Source: http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2015/july/top-5-tips-for-bringing-your-elderly-loved-one-to-the-emergency-department

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