Ensuring a Safe Hospital Visit for an Elderly Loved One with Dementia

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Ensuring a Safe Hospital Visit for an Elderly Loved One with Dementia in Toronto, ON

When a hospital is unable to meet the needs of a senior with dementia, he or she can potentially become vulnerable to many physical or mental complications. If your senior loved one has dementia and will be visiting the hospital for any reason, make sure the hospital is equipped to treat seniors living with this condition. Here are a few suggestions for ensuring a safe hospital visit for your loved one.

Work with the Staff

Some hospital staff may not know the basic facts about dementia. Give the staff information pertaining to the approaches that work best for your loved one. Let them know what upsets him or her and how they can reduce the distress. Explain your loved one’s “baseline,” which can help the staff tell the difference between acute confusion, delirium, and dementia. This can include information about things such as your loved one’s meal preferences, what may trigger agitation in your parent, and communication strategies you’ve found to be effective. You should also inform the hospital staff about any possible safety concerns to watch for, such as wandering and frequently falling. The staff can employ bed alarms and other devices to ensure your loved one’s safety.

Keeping track of your loved one’s conditions and medications can be challenging, and a caregiver with expertise in dementia care can be a fantastic source of support. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Toronto home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Have Questions Directed Toward You

Your parent could experience disorientation because of the unfamiliar hospital environment, his or her illness, or medication, which could make it difficult for him or her to communicate with hospital staff. Even if your loved one is able to answer some of the questions medical personnel ask, the stress of answering questions may lead to outbursts of anger, so it may be best for you to take over this responsibility. Your loved one may not be able to answer some questions accurately, or a diagnosis might upset him or her and lead to aggravated behaviors, which is why you may want to speak with the doctor outside the room and answer the questions in private.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Put Together a Support System

If the hospital procedure your loved one is having cannot be performed on an outpatient basis, ask the doctor to shorten the stay as much as possible. Regardless of how long the stay is, make sure your loved one has a great support system made up of family, friends, or professional caregivers so someone can be with your loved one at all times. Older adults, especially those with dementia, have an increased risk of falls and other injuries while they’re staying in the hospital. Although hospital staff will do everything they can to keep your loved one safe, they may not be able to monitor him or her 24 hours a day. Each person on your team will have an important role, including comfort and communication, hands-on caregiving, and management of personal affairs.

After your loved one returns home from the hospital, he or she may need 24/7 home care. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Toronto, ON, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (416) 488-8777 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.

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