Caregivers Make All the Difference During a Hospital Stay

When loved ones require a hospital stay, we expect the hospital to provide the best medical care possible to take care of their needs. What we don’t always consider, however, is how being alone in the hospital can affect a person’s emotional and mental state. For elderly people who may already be experiencing reduced mental capacity due to dementia or Alzheimer’s, the hospital environment can exacerbate the problem. Having someone to provide constant companionship and to be an advocate for the patient, whether that’s a family member, close friend, or professional caregiver, can make a huge difference in the patient’s outcome.

Why Patients Struggle in the Hospital

Hospitals by their nature can be depressing places. Bringing a lot of sick people together in one place increases the risk of picking up an infectious disease. Observing the distress of others can also increase the elderly patient’s own distress, especially when there’s no one to offer verbal interaction and companionship. When elderly patients enter this kind of environment, especially when they have limited access to visits from family or friends and if they already have a condition like dementia, their mental decline accelerates. Even mentally healthy patients who don’t have an in-home caregiver to advocate for them may have difficult hospital stays when busy nurses have to care for multiple patients and can’t respond to calls right away.

How Caregivers Can Help

Research suggests that the cause of Parkinson’s disease may be genetic. While no cure is currently available for the condition, in most cases Parkinson’s disease can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. A doctor can prescribe drugs to stimulate the area of the brain that has been affected in order to greatly reduce symptoms. In addition to medication, seniors may benefit from making changes such as:

  • Fiber-Rich Diet–Parkinson’s disease often causes physical complications like constipation. Eating a diet that is high in fiber and that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables will help prevent discomfort.
  • Exercise–Because Parkinson’s affects balance, exercise can help by strengthening muscles and improving the body’s responses. It’s important not to move too quickly, however, since reflexes may not be as sharp as they once were.
  • Physical Therapy, opens in new tab–In some cases, exercise may prove to be too dangerous or difficult without additional help. A physical therapist can work with elderly people to find an exercise within the bounds of their physical limitations, and can also provide recommendations about the most beneficial forms of exercise for the condition.
  • Hiring a caregiver–If family members don’t live close by or if the elderly person needs assistance with activities like walking, dressing, or bathing, an in-home caregiver can provide the assistance needed. He or she can also prepare healthy meals, offer medication reminders, and provide transportation to medical appointments.

What Steps Should You Take Next?

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out any other possible causes. Once you have a diagnosis, begin making gradual changes to your elderly loved one’s routine so that he or she can maintain as much mobility and normal activity as possible. While Parkinson’s disease can be an intimidating diagnosis, the medical community offers a lot of information and help for families of those with the condition in order to help promote the best possible quality of life.

An in-home caregiver may be the best option for helping your loved one remain active. The caregiver can also provide regular updates about whether or not symptoms have improved, giving you the information you need to make decisions about future treatments.

Bella Home Care Is Here To Help You!

Whether you or your loved one needs help with personal care, supportive services, companionship or more, we are here to help! Just call Bella Home Care today at (803) 618-3167 to get started!