The Best Way to Support an Older Loved One During a Short-Term Rehab Stay

caregiver handing senior lady flowers
Find out how to support an older loved one when they have to stay in an assisted living facility for a short time.

After a hospitalization or surgical procedure, the physician may recommend rehab in a facility prior to when the person returns home. This is usually a short-term time of intensive therapy to promote healing and recovery. However, the idea of moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility even for a few weeks or months can be extremely tough to accept.

How can you support an older loved one through this challenging life event? There are a number of steps 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 much more like home by bringing in items such as a favorite pillow and quilt, family photos, as well as other small memorabilia. Pack their favorite shampoo, lotion, as well as 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 may get lost or delivered to the wrong person during the laundering process.
  • Visit often. You may feel as though the individual is receiving all of the care they need, and that infrequent or short visits are fine. However, your companionship and presence are invaluable during this time. Pack a sandwich and join the person for lunch. Play cards and games together. Bring a book for the older adult to read when you are gone, and read the same book yourself, so you can discuss it together. Or simply sit with them and invite them to talk about whatever is on their heart.
  • Be a motivator. Your family member will have a regimen of activities and exercises to focus on with their physical, occupational, and/or speech therapist. If the individual and staff agree, attend therapy sessions with the person. Find out what is involved with their recovery process, and exactly how you can effectively provide encouragement. For example, they may be encouraged to walk as much as possible. Taking walks together during your visits can provide the motivation they need to reach their goals.

You can also ask the doctor if in-home recovery is an alternative. If so, Serenity Home Care is here to help every step of the way! We can begin by helping to prepare the house 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, help with transfers and walking, and so much more. Through it all, we’re here with friendly companionship to brighten the process of recovery at home.

Contact us online any time or call us at 250.590.8098 for more information about how we are able to help with in-home post-hospitalization care services!