Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

December 13, 2013

MMH manager offers caregiving tips

(Continued)

Keep original document in a safe place. It might be wise to keep copies in ziplock bags in the person’s purse or bag, ready to be presented to a hospital or physician.

When a senior citizen is in the hospital, “you and your family members are part of the healing team.” The caregiver needs to write down instructions and watch the physical therapist to learn how to get the loved one out of bed and other exercises that may continue at home. “Take notes and ask questions. You’ll have a better outcome for yourself and your patient,” predicted the 23-year social worker.

Tuttle reflected, “Everybody has a season of life.” As an elderly person’s health falters, he or she may go from the home or long-term care facility to a hospital many times, which can be “traumatic ... (and) very disorienting. You need to have that talk with the doctor and nursing home…” to hold off going to the hospital for minor complaints.

If someone needs to go to a long-term care facility, a caregiver should call ahead and make plans. The facility will need paperwork from a physician and LifeTime Resources. MMH social workers can help with the process free of charge.

“Sometimes we have to give up our pride a little bit to ask for help. Never hesitate to call the hospital for anything you need.” Dietitians and social workers can problem solve at 934-6624 and Ask-a-Nurse can be reached at 933-5152.

“Eat less, move more” was her major message. “Two simple rules. If you can prevent diabetes … and heart disease,” living longer won’t be as difficult. “Foot amputation and dialysis are not a pretty road.”

Over 500 Silver Sneakers members are registered at the Y, with the Batesville center paid by insurance companies as members work out. “Of those, only a very small percentage actually use it,” reported Y employee Cathy Sullivan.

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