How to Help a Loved One During a Short-Term Stay in Assisted Living

How to Help a Loved One During a Short-Term Stay in Assisted Living

After a hospitalization or surgical procedure, the doctor may recommend a short-term stay in assisted living for rehab purposes before returning home. This is typically a temporary period of intensive therapy to promote healing and recovery. However, the thought of moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home even for a matter of weeks or months can be exceedingly tough to accept.

How can you help a family member through this challenging life event? There are several actions you can take to help overcome feelings of fear, anxiety, and homesickness during a short-term facility stay.

  • Personalize the room. The facility will provide the bare necessities: a bed, dresser, and chair. Make the space feel more like home by bringing in belongings such as a favorite quilt and pillows, family photos, and other small memorabilia. Pack their favorite shampoo, lotion, and other personal care items, along with comfortable clothes. Use caution, however, about bringing any items of value or special significance. This applies to clothing as well, which might get lost or taken to the wrong person during the laundering process.
  • Visit often. You might feel as though the person is receiving all of the care they need, and that infrequent or short visits are fine. However, your companionship and presence are vital during this time period. Pack a sandwich and join the person for lunch. Play games and cards together. Bring a book for the older adult to read when you’re gone, and read the same book yourself, so you can discuss it together. Or simply sit with them and invite them to share whatever is on their heart.
  • Be a motivator. Your family member will have a regimen of activities and exercises to work on with their physical, speech, and/or occupational therapist. If the individual and staff agree, attend therapy sessions along with the person. Find out what’s involved with their recovery process, and how you can effectively provide encouragement. For example, they might be encouraged to walk as much as possible. Taking walks together during your visits can offer the motivation they need to reach their goals.

You can also ask the physician if in-home recovery is an alternative. If that's the case, Amy’s Helping Hands is here to assist every step of the way! We can start by helping to ready the home for the person’s discharge from the hospital. This can include grocery shopping so there are plenty of healthy food options available, picking up prescriptions, and performing a safety check to reduce fall risks. Once back at home, we can provide medication reminders, prepare meals, take care of light housekeeping, assist with transfers and walking, and much more. Through it all, we are here with friendly companionship to brighten the process of recovery at home. 

Contact us any time at 519-915-4370 to learn more about how we are able to help with in-home post-hospitalization care services in Windsor and Essex counties.