How to Help a Loved One Avoid the Emergency Room this Holiday Season

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avoid the emergency room this holiday season

Hospitals see an increased number of older adults around the holidays.

While we’d like to imagine enjoying a Norman Rockwell-worthy holiday celebration, with all of our loved ones spending quality time together, and Grandma’s traditional holiday feast, the reality is that numerous families will instead experience something unforeseen: an E/R visit. In fact, research shows that emergency room visits for older adults increase around 10 – 20% during the holidays.

Although pinpointing the reason behind this statistical increase is tricky, one issue could be that family members who have not been spending significant time with an elderly relative, discover during a visit for the holiday, that his/her health condition has deteriorated.

Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital shares, “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.”

Not only that, there are some common changes related to aging that may be misconstrued, causing family members to feel that an E/R visit is required.

There are, nonetheless, some proactive measures that can be taken to help seniors avoid the emergency room this holiday season:

  • Maintain a listing of contact information for your loved one’s primary care physician and other medical specialists. Make sure the list contains all medications prescribed by each physician and any medication allergies or other issues. Contacting the appropriate doctor for his/her suggestions about your concerns is a wise first step prior to an E/R visit, unless of course the older person is experiencing a true emergency.
  • Talk with the older adult about appointing a health care proxy, who will be able to make health decisions if your loved one is unable to do so. Make certain a living will is in place as well.
  • Check in with your senior loved one regularly during the course of the year. For family members who live at a distance, it’s beneficial to enlist the aid of your loved one’s neighbors or close friends to stop in to see the senior routinely and to update you with any changes they notice.

Of course, if it is an actual emergency, never hesitate to call 911 and seek the emergency medical care required immediately.

A professional home care agency, like San Diego Home Caregivers, is the ideal solution to make sure your loved ones continue to remain healthy and well, and that any changes in condition are addressed immediately – so the holidays will remain as festive and enjoyable as they should be. Just a few of the many ways we can help include:

  • Medication reminders
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Household chores and laundry
  • Personal care assistance
  • And many more

Call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our professional home care services, arrange for a free in-home assessment, and to find out if our services are available in your area.  Our team of high-qualified professionals are available to provide customized La Jolla area elder care over the holidays and year-round. See our full service area to see if we serve your community.

Can Your Aging Parents Pay for Long-Term Care? Helping Them Starts Now

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Retirement Home

The right time to help aging parents plan for future long-term care needs is before care is needed.

Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with the decision of whether their senior parents are able to cover the cost for long-term care. Monetary issues can be a delicate subject, and when it is time to begin thinking about long-term care needs, having an open and honest discussion about how your parents will be able to pay for aging care services is essential. To that end, San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading provider of elderly care in San Diego and the surrounding areas, has gathered together the following questions to help you get started:

  • What are your parents’ assets? A good place to begin is to determine approximately how much funding your parents have available in cash, investments, and Social Security. This provides a foundation for covering long-term care expenditures.
  • Do your parents anticipate needing financial assistance? People are living longer than ever before, meaning more people are outliving the resources they have designated for retirement. Ask your parents if they have enough funds to sustain their needs for the balance of their lives. If not, how much support will be necessary?
  • Do your parents have insurance? Find out if your parents have a long-term care insurance policy, as well as life insurance. Review to gain a solid understanding of their policies.
  • Can you access their passwords and account numbers? Ask for account and password details, and maintain a copy of this information, along with contact information for your parents’ attorney and financial advisor. This will make it an easier process to work through affairs when the need arises.
  • Do your parents have a power of attorney? Suggest to your parents that they select and finalize paperwork for a power of attorney so they are assured that there is a dependable, trusted person to make decisions for them in the instance of a medical emergency.

Planning in advance for long-term care is essential, and easier to accomplish while your parents are independent and thriving. Gaining an understanding of their finances now will help you be more prepared for their future care.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize that discussions about long-term care and finances can be difficult, and our professionals are always available to offer help. Contact San Diego Home Caregivers, the top provider of elderly care in San Diego and the surrounding areas, at (619) 487-9000 to learn more.