A sudden medical crisis can drastically alter your life.
Your everyday routine now focuses on how to help your loved one get better, making frequent hospital visits and often making critical decisions with little preparation or resources.
Through this difficult process, you have become a family caregiver — an unpaid family member who helps a loved one with a health condition. There is no formal announcement of your new position, nothing to prepare you for what’s ahead or help you manage your shock and anxiety.
Your role as family caregiver includes a number of responsibilities, such as
- Advocating for your loved one to make sure the care team treats the whole person, not just the condition, by communicating what’s important about your loved one and what’s important to your loved one.
- Alerting the care team to circumstances that may not be readily apparent — such as dementia, substance abuse, medication noncompliance, depression, or hearing loss. These can significantly affect your loved one’s ability or willingness to give hospital staff accurate information.
- Navigating complex healthcare and insurance systems and coordinate care delivered by multiple medical specialists and nursing shifts.
- Monitoring changes in medications, especially during transitions between different departments and at discharge, and also report side effects that your loved one may not recognize.
Your new role isn’t easy—even physicians and nurses working in hospitals report that being a family caregiver for a hospitalized loved one is much more challenging than they ever realized.
A free, easy-to-read guide from HaveHealth — How to help your loved one in the hospital: You can make a difference — can help you manage your caregiver responsibilities. It tells you:
- The three most important things you can do as a family caregiver
- Three great ways to help manage your loved one’s health in the hospital
- Three great ways to help prevent common mistakes made in the hospital
- Three great ways to keep your loved one from having to go back to the hospital
Before discharge from the hospital, preparations must be made for taking your loved one home. You may need to make physical adjustments to the living space to accommodate mobility challenges, such as getting up stairs. When you make changes, you’ll want to comply with local zoning laws and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) who’s been trained by the National Association of Home Builders can assist you. This specialist has been instructed in home remodeling that helps individuals recover — and grow old — at home.
Amramp has the installation process down to a science with factory-trained professional wheelchair ramp installers, not temporary subcontractors. Amramp delivers and installs Amramp wheelchair ramps in as little as one day from each of its 45 locally owned and operated locations across the United States and Canada.
Amramp carries a selection of accessibility home essentials, including:
- Safety grab bars and grab poles
- PromenAid Handrails
- Stair lifts
- Platform lifts
- Threshold and transition ramps
A family medical crisis is overwhelming, but Amramp’s free home visit to evaluate your loved one’s needs and the free HaveHealth guide to managing the hospital stay can help reduce your stress and help you give your loved one the best care possible.
Beth Suereth is the Founder and Managing Partner of HaveHealth. As a Certified Caregiving Consultant and End-of-Life Doula, she teaches family caregivers how to manage the hospital stay. Beth was previously the National Director of Marketing for BioScrip, a home infusion and home care company. Follow her on Twitter at @BethSuereth.
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Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598