Dear Donna:

My mother has been in and out of the hospital over the past 9 months for a variety of injuries and illnesses ranging from the flu to a badly broken wrist. She usually only spends one or two nights, but she is just worn out from it. Before this started, she was always on the move! She played in several card groups, enjoyed working in her yard during warmer months, and was a real social butterfly. Do you have any advice that can help us? We are trying to figure out a way to stop this cycle and get her back on her feet again.

Barb in Holland, Michigan

Dear Barb:

I’m so sorry to hear about all your mother has been through lately! But you are right in thinking of it as a cycle. Unfortunately, a serious illness or injury can take a toll on our senior loved ones. They are at greater risk for a variety of reasons ranging from mobility problems to impairments caused by a chronic illness.

To help your mother get back on her feet and avoid another trip to the emergency department, here are a few suggestions I can offer:

  • Consider employing in-home care to help support her daily activities. Private duty aides can help her with grocery shopping, meal preparation, personal care and more. That may help her rest and regain her strength while giving you peace of mind that she is getting well-balanced meals and support around the house.
  • Assisted living communities offer short-term stays for situations like your mothers. She could stay for just a week or two up to one month. She will receive all of the benefits a long-term resident does including meals, personal care, housekeeping, life enrichment activities to join, and more. An advantage in selecting this option is that it would help her test the waters and see if she might enjoy life in a senior living community!
  • You could also talk with her physician to see if she would also qualify for skilled home health care during this time. That would allow physical therapists and skilled nurses to visit her at home or at an assisted living community to work with her on a recovery program. If she qualifies, these services would be covered by her Medicare benefit.

I hope these suggestions help you develop a plan that will keep your mother healthy and safe and out of the hospital! Please let us know if you have any more questions or would like to consider a short-term stay for your mother at a Heritage Senior Community near you.


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