Caring for an elderly parent is often stressful enough, but a trip to the emergency room or hospital can be hard on both you and your loved one. You'll need to work as their advocate even more fiercely than usual to ensure that they are getting the care they need and that they will have the best possible experience. You'll have plenty of questions, but the main two things to ask about right away are:
Is my loved one being admitted -- and what for?
Hospitals move swiftly once the decision to admit has been made; your senior will likely be assigned a room right away. You need to know specifically why they are being admitted, how long they can expect to be there and what they are being admitted for. In some cases, a senior is admitted as a precaution, but you'll still need to know the "why", so you can provide your parent with an explanation and have a good idea of what you'll need to prepare for. You'll also need this information if your parent is on Medicare -- they may not be covered for "observation" admissions.
Why is my loved one not being admitted?
If you have significant concerns or are worried about being able to care for your loved ones critical need or emergent issue at home, you should ask for clarification on why they are not being admitted. Many older folks do better in a familiar environment instead of a hospital; older adults are also prone to actually declining when hospitalized. Thier risk of contracting an easily spread infection like MRSA is also higher than the rest of the population.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!