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Ensuring a Safe Hospital Visit for an Elderly Loved One with Dementia

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on

When a hospital is unable to meet the needs of a senior with dementia, he or she can potentially become vulnerable to many physical or mental complications. If your senior loved one has dementia and will be visiting the hospital for any reason, you will want to make sure the hospitalis equipped to treat seniors living with this condition. The senior care experts at Placer County Home Care Assistance have a few suggestions for ensuring a safe hospital visit for your loved one.

Work with the Staff

Some hospital staff may not know some basic facts about dementia. Give the staff information pertaining to the approaches that work best for your loved one. Let them know what upsets him or her and how they can reduce the distress. Explain your loved one’s “baseline,” which can help the staff tell the difference between acute confusion, delirium, and dementia.

Have Questions Directed Towards You

Even though your loved one may be able to answer some of the doctor’s questions, it may be best for you to take over this responsibility. Your loved one may not be able to answer some questions accurately or a diagnosis might upset him or her and lead to aggravated behaviors, which is why you may want to speak with the doctor outside of the room, answering the questions in private.

Put Together a Support System

If the hospital procedure your loved one is having done cannot be performed as an outpatient visit, you will want to ask the doctor to shorten the stay as much as possible. Regardless of how long the stay is, you will need to make sure your loved one has a great support system made up of family, friends, or a professional Placer County caregiver. Each person on your team will have an important role, including comfort and communication, hands-on caregiving, and management of personal affairs.

Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. For trusted dementia care in Placer County, turn to Home Care Assistance. We train all of our caregivers in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline. To learn more about our senior care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.

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