Although naturally we’d love to imagine enjoying a Norman Rockwell-worthy holiday celebration, with all of our family members spending quality time together and Mom’s traditional holiday feast, the reality for countless families instead consists of something unforeseen: an emergency room visit. As a matter of fact, research reveals that emergency room visits for seniors jump as much as 10 – 20% during the holidays
Though uncovering the exact reason behind this increase is complex, one component could be family members who haven’t spent as much time with an older relative in the months leading up to the holiday season, who discover during holiday visiting that his/her condition has declined.
Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital explains, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in six months, you may not be fully aware of the aging process and her health in general.”
On top of that, there are some typical changes related to aging that may be misunderstood, causing family members to believe that an E/R visit is necessary.
There are, nevertheless, several proactive measures that can be taken to prevent a holiday emergency. Use the following list of elderly care tips to help your family be more prepared this season:
- Make sure you have a list of contact information for the senior’s primary care physician and other medical specialists. Be sure the list contains all medications prescribed by each physician and any drug allergies or other concerns. Contacting the appropriate physician for his/her guidelines about your concerns is a smart first step before an emergency room visit, unless of course the older person is encountering a true emergency.
- Have a conversation with the older adult about assigning a health care proxy, who will make health decisions if your loved one is unable to do so. Make sure a living will is in place, as well.
- Check in with the senior on a regular basis during the course of the year. For family members who live far away, it’s helpful to recruit the assistance of your loved one’s neighbors or close friends to visit the senior routinely and to keep you updated with any changes they pick up on.
Needless to say, if it is an actual emergency, do not hesitate to call 911 and seek the emergency medical care needed immediately.
As one of the best home care agencies in Reading, PA and surrounding areas, Effraim Home Care is the ideal solution to ensure your loved ones stay healthy and well, and that any changes in health condition are dealt with immediately – so that the holiday season will be as festive and enjoyable as it should be. Just a few of the many ways we can help include:
- Medication reminders
- Planning and preparing meals
- Household chores and laundry
- And many more
Call us at (215) 826-7422 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about our professional home care services and discover why we’re #1 when it comes to top home care agencies in Reading, PA and the surrounding areas. For more information about the different areas we serve, please visit our Locations Served page.