Although naturally we’d like to imagine enjoying a Norman Rockwell-worthy holiday get-together, with all of our family members spending quality time together and Grandma’s traditional holiday feast, the reality for some families instead consists of something unexpected: an emergency room visit. In fact, senior health studies show that emergency room visits for the elderly rise as high as 10 – 20% over the holidays
Though identifying the specific reason behind this increase is tricky, one issue could be family members who haven’t spent as much time with an older relative prior to the holiday season, who then notice during holiday visits that his/her condition has deteriorated.
Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital reports, “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 might be misconstrued, leading family members to think that an emergency room visit is required.
There are, nevertheless, some proactive steps that can be taken. Use these elderly care tips to help protect against a holiday emergency:
- Keep a listing 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 doctor for his or her suggestions about your concerns is a smart first step before an E/R visit, unless of course the older adult is experiencing a true emergency.
- Talk to the older adult about assigning a health care proxy, who will serve as a voice in making health decisions if your loved one is not able to do so. Make sure you have a living will in place as well.
- Check in with the older adult on a regular basis throughout the course of the year. For family members who live at a distance, it’s beneficial to solicit the help of your loved one’s neighbors or close friends to stop in to see the senior regularly and to update you with any changes they detect.
Obviously, if it is an actual emergency, never hesitate to call 911 and seek the emergency medical care the senior needs immediately.
A professional home care agency, like Live Well at Home, is the ideal solution to make certain your loved ones in Burlingame and the surrounding area stay healthy and well, and that any changes in health condition are dealt with right away – so the holidays will remain as festive and enjoyable as they should be. Just several of the many ways we can help include:
- Medication reminders
- Meal planning and preparation
- Housekeeping and laundry
- And more
Contact us at 916-459-3220 to schedule a free in-home consultation and discover more about our home care in Burlingame and other surrounding areas. To learn more about all of the different areas we serve in California, please visit our Service Area page.