By: Integrity Home Care + Hospice
Believe it or not, whether you’re naughty or nice—and, whether you’re ready or not—it’s the most wonderful time of the year again! Sounds of holiday tunes flood the airwaves, holiday lights have transformed your neighborhood into a Christmas wonderland, there’s homemade treats on every countertop, and shopping lists seem to be growing by the day. Yes—the holiday season can be both exciting and stressful—and this is true for every member of the family.
Did you know that the holiday shopping season can also pose potential risks for your relative receiving in-home care? It’s true! In today’s blog, Integrity Home Care + Hospice will cover potential risks associated with the holiday shopping season to ensure your loved one stays safe.
According to this National Retail Federation Article 19% of annual retail sales throughout the United States occur during the months of November and December. That’s a large number of sales to occur in two months’ time—which also means a lot of hands that are exchanging currency and/or touching potential gifts you’ll be giving your loved ones.
With this increased amount of human interaction during the cold and flu season, comes an increased risk of spreading germs to your in-home care-bound relatives after you’ve been out and about in public. It’s important to remember that the same germs that hitch a ride home with you that may not affect you, can have the opposite effect on your immune-suppressed senior relative.
In order to keep those germs away from your senior loved ones receiving in-home care, be sure to practice frequent hand-washing and appropriate social distancing where necessary. This means staying six feet away, and potentially wearing a mask like the n95 mask, depending on the immune support of your senior relative.
Seniors utilizing in-home care often are health-compromised through physical injury, chronic illness, or even the medications they take. Understanding what health boundaries work best for your family member is the best method to keep them safe from potential exposure to other illnesses.
Believe it or not, holiday boxes and decorations can be deadly! It’s important to be mindful of this when transporting all of the holiday fun to your senior relative’s home. Individuals receiving in-home care are often at a much higher fall risk, due to common aging issues like arthritis and declining vision. And the mortality rate for a senior individual who suffers a hip fracture is higher than you might think—about 10% of these patients will die within one month, and 30-50 percent within the next year.
A fall for an in-home care-receiving relative could also be disastrous due to medications like blood-thinners—which many older patients are prescribed regularly. An accident around the home that would normally just cause a bump or bruise on the head could cause bleeding on the brain in older individuals. For all these reasons, it is important to not allow stray items in walkways or living space of your older relatives’ homes.
Stressors are plentiful during the holiday season, especially for family relatives that are confined to one spot during a family event. Due to medical needs, your senior relative receiving in-home care could be bound to a chair or daybed during the festivities.
While it’s important to take care not to overstimulate your family member, remember to remain attentive to their needs. If they feel they need a break or would like to rest for a bit, it’s important to hear these concerns and honor them. Holiday excitement can also raise stress levels within the body, causing dehydration—so, making sure they have enough water remains highly important.
If a nurse or in-home care aid is to come and provide care for your senior relative, try to plan the party around that routine visit as to avoid any potentially embarrassing or private interactions being made public to the rest of your family and friends. Maintaining the privacy and dignity of your senior relative in all stages of their in-home care is something that should always be prioritized—especially amidst all the hustle and bustle of this Holiday season.
We believe in kindness, consistency, and top-quality medical care at Integrity Home Care + Hospice. If you are interested in learning more about care for your in-home care receiving senior relatives, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to us online, or call us at 855-442-4968.