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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

When Caregivers Assist Someone Who Is Hospitalized

Sometimes when I am caregiving, a senior needs to be taken to the emergency room and this leads to a stay in the hospital. When relatives live far away, or are not available, a paid caregiver may be standing in for them. If the paramedics provide transport I follow in my car, and call the relatives. At the emergency room the family caregiver or paid caregiver can wait in the cubicle with the senior who is receiving treatment. If the senior is admitted to the hospital I stay until he or she is settled in a room, paperwork and questions are answered, and the family is updated.

A handsqueeze or a touch and a reassurance that I am still there right next to the person I assist can help if he or she is feeling disoriented. Relatives may live far away and be unavailable and then a paid caregiver may be standing in for them and keeping them posted.

Frequently a paid caregiver and a senior share a close bond that develops from sharing and trust.

In the emergency room the caregiver can provide information for the doctors and nurses and stay nearby in order to provide companionship, reassurance, and assistance.

If a senior is admitted the hospital I've often been asked to continue to provide personal care assistance and companionship during this stay, and there may be several other caregivers so that we rotate shifts.

The caregiver can help in the hospital when someone is too weak to reach for a glass of water or to the food tray by making sure that liquids and food are consumed. If there are special routines for hearing aids, a prothesis, or other individualized personal care steps then having the usual caregiver there can be a big help.

A person who is feeling disoriented may feel more reassured by having the regular caregiver nearby, and the caregiver will be used to sensing what the person is feeling and assisting in a one on one basis.

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