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Those first few weeks out of the hospital are the most dangerous for an elderly parent

Young woman helping elderly person to walk with a crutch

Let’s say your elderly mother is just coming out of the hospital. Maybe she had a small stroke, or maybe she just fell.

If you’re lucky, the whole family has gathered around for the homecoming. Neighbors and friends have brought food. For a couple of days she has all the love and care she needs.

Then what? What happens when family and friends must go back to their own lives and their own problems. This is the most important time in your mom’s recovery, and it’s one of the most dangerous; do it wrong and she could be right back in the hospital.

Rehospitalization is a real risk, especially for the elderly. While your mom’s first trip to the hospital will likely be for something like a broken bone or a stroke, her trip back will be for something much more mundane: dehydration, malnutrition, failure to take her medications properly.

Hospitals aren’t in the business of letting you heal. They’re too busy, and they’re too expensive. Hospitals are in the business of getting you stitched up and stabilized. The healing happens back home.

Fortunately, Stay at Home caretakers are in the businesses of giving your elderly parents the support they need to make it through this critical time. We make sure your mom eats right and gets enough fluids. We make sure she takes her meds on schedule. We make sure she takes her physical therapy seriously and does her exercises. We get her to doctor’s appointments and give her some company during this stressful time.

We don’t have to be there for a long-term commitment. Even two or three weeks can make the difference between a smooth recovery and a trip back to the emergency room.

So let us know if your loved one is getting out of the hospital and can use some support.


Information for this post comes from Andy Houck, owner and administrator of Stay at Home of Loudon.

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