3 Tips When Your Parent Is In Short-Term Rehabilitation After A Fall

Learning that your aging parent has fallen, been injured and is now in short-term rehabilitation is alarming. You want your parent to be okay physically, but you most likely also want to know how to help them prevent future falls and accidents. Here are a few tips for navigating this unique situation:

Help Fall-Proof Their Home

It's not possible to eliminate the risk of falls, but you can certainly do things around their home to make it safer and decrease the risk. For example, adding grab bars near the shower, inside the shower, and next to the toilet can help prevent falls in the bathroom. A skid-free mat in the shower is also a good idea.

Make sure your parent's home has plenty of bright lighting in good repair, and add path lighting or nightlights to prevent falls when they wake up in the night. With your parent's permission, de-clutter the home and arrange furniture so that there are wide paths from room to room.

Talk to Their Physical Therapists and Doctors

Another important way to help your parent is to talk to your parent's physical therapists and doctors and take detailed, easy-to-follow notes. Your parent may be groggy from pain medication or too overwhelmed to remember everything they are supposed to do after short-term rehabilitation.

Ask about exercises they need to do at home once they leave the hospital and their medication schedule. Be sure to keep track of follow-up appointments as well. Keep all this information in a notebook or online so that you can easily share it with your parent as well as your siblings or other helpers.

Consider Hiring an In-Home Care Assistant

Even if you're taking off from work or getting help with your home responsibilities while your parent is in the hospital, chances are you will soon need to return to those responsibilities. You may not be able to provide the kind of regular, in-person help and checking in your parent needs while they recover and in the long-term.

A great solution is to hire an in-home care assistant who can come to your parent's home a few times a week. This service is often covered by insurance and means your parent will have someone making sure they are okay, helping manage their medication, prepare meals, run errands, and even do light cleaning. 

Learning the best ways to help your aging parent remain safe and healthy while respecting their safety is a complicated process. Following these tips while they are engaging in short-term rehabilitation services is a great way to get started.