It’s always worrying when a loved one has an extended stay in the hospital, whether they have a serious illness or are recovering from surgery. But many families fail to prepare for what comes next. When our loved ones are older, it takes longer to recover, and chances are they’ll have lost a lot of strength and fitness during their time in the hospital. Here are some things that you can do to help them to recover that parcprovence.
Be Honest About Their Needs
It’s important that you have honest conversations with your loved one and their healthcare team. Are they going to be able to live alone? Will they need full-time care or just extra support? Are they likely to ever regain their previous fitness?
In some cases, instead of returning home, it can help your loved one if they move into a Brentwood assisted living community. This can give them all the support and care that they need to recover and can even improve their quality of life.
Recovering from any illness takes time. The longer and more serious the illness, the longer it will take. Unfortunately, as we get older, it can become even harder to return to our former strength and fitness. Be patient with your loved one and try to limit your expectations. Growing frustrated with them, and with your own inability to help will only make things worse.
Encourage Daily Movement
There will be days when your loved one is feeling down, tired, and weak. They might not want to get out of bed or do any exercise. When this happens, prioritize any movement, even if it’s just a few steps around the house or some simple stretches in a chair.
Set Small Goals
Having goals is a great way to keep us on track, and measure progress. This can boost morale and keep your loved one’s spirits up. Just make sure the goals that you set are achievable, and that you discuss them with their health care provider.
Make Sure They’ve Got Plenty of Company
Building strength after a long hospital stay is important but caring for their mental health is equally important. Low mood is common when our bodies are weak, and depression will make recovery even harder. Make sure they’ve got plenty of company and keep an eye out for signs of depression.
One of the best ways to boost mood and build strength is for your loved one to see their friends, attend any groups that they went to before their hospital stay and get back to their old hobbies. They might have to start slowly, and it can be a good idea to move gatherings to their house for a while but encourage socialization as much as you can.
Make Plans for the Future
Having plans, however small, can give your loved one something to look forward to and work towards. Something big like a trip can be great, but even smaller things like lunch bookings or theatre tickets work too.
Your loved one might be very weak after spending a long time in the hospital. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t gain strength and return to doing the things that they love. They might just need some help getting there.