Planning NOW for home care - what you need to know
Have you ever had a loved one or maybe someone you’re acquainted with receive treatment for their afflicted conditions in the hospital? At some point in our life we’ve been to the hospital for someone we know who is undergoing either a surgery or therapy and managed to make it out of it with just the recovery period to worry about. A lot of the times most of these patients, especially the elderly population prefer to go home as soon as they can to recover there most probably to reduce hospital billing and for the comfort of their homes as well. However, some of these patients require follow-up monitoring and care to ensure a better prognosis which eventually leads to hospitals or even the patient’s family itself to acquire a caregiver if they are still insistent on staying at home. Therefore, it is important to ensure the environment at home is well adapted to ensure the caregiver can perform well as well as prevent any harm or hazards occuring to your recovering loved one. Here are some suggestions of things you can do or at least keep track of while having a caregiver at home monitoring your loved one.
- Ensure the caregiver or nurse is aware of the patient’s needs
This isn’t indirectly saying the caregiver or nurse assigned to your loved one is incapable of remembering or performing well. Sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry and we are all just humans by the end of the day. Go through the needs of your loved one with the caregiver or nurse on occasion if needed and be specific if your loved one needs any specific needs for their recovery e.g. frequent wound dressing changes or medical equipment monitoring. The caregiver or nurse assigned should also be aware of medication prescriptions your loved one is supposed to take and ensure they are administered, taken and stored properly.
- Make adjustments at home to cater to needs
This process varies from person to person’s condition but it is important to ensure the house is safe for both the caregiver and your loved one to live in. For example, if let’s say the patient had just undergone a knee joint surgery and is unable to climb the stairs to their room, as a family member you might opt to switch their bedroom from s upstairs to downstairs. Another example would be if your loved one requires special equipment or devices at home to aid them e.g. nebulizer or medical device then it should be prepared at home after consulting their doctor about this. The pantry should also be stocked up with foods suitable for the patient as most of the time patients who are recovering from surgery or therapy usually require a protein rich meal to aid in tissue repair.
Maintaining family communication
It is important that the family of the patient takes part in the recovery process to ensure the patient feels loved and backed up with family support. Even if they are unable to take care of the patient often due to their busy lives, it would also help if they ask the caregiver or nurse about updates regarding the recovery of their loved one. This helps prevent the caregiver or nurse from continuing any activities or deeds that might make the patient uncomfortable or put them at a risk that they do not know about. The caregiver or nurse should also be given an emergency contact number in case anything were to happen to the patient and the family members should be notified immediately.