Having a loved one spend a prolonged amount of time in a hospital can be very stressful for both of you. However, don't make the assumption that everything is going to return to normal just because they've come home. Your loved one may need more help than usual now, and the best way to give it to them is to hire someone to come and take care of them within their own home. Here's why they may need help.
Bone loss is a significant problem that the elderly face while cooped up in a hospital bed. Bones tend to be thinner and more brittle with people of advanced age, so they don't have as many bone cells as a younger person. In addition to that, every hour that they spend in their bed is another step towards those bones weakening.
Bones need stress and pressure in order to stay strong. This is why weight lifting and other weight-bearing exercises are so good for bones. But if your loved one isn't moving around and walking much at the hospital, they're going to lose some bone mass, and that will make it more difficult for them to move around safely at home.
Muscle loss, like bone loss, is another serious issue for the elderly in the hospital. Unfortunately, many elderly people in hospitals are essentially confined to their beds, as the hospitals don't want to risk having them falling and hurting themselves. This only increases the speed with which their muscles deteriorate, however. Without as much muscle mass when they return home, even the simplest of tasks will feel more difficult and taxing.
Another thing to consider is that many of the elderly experience some level of confusion when they return home from the hospital. Part of this is just the adjustment process now that they're home again, after spending days or more in a hospital bed. But another part of it is that many elderly are often sleep-deprived while in the hospital.
Hospitals are bright and busy places. Most hospitals check in on their patients around the clock, every hour or more, and as a result people often don't get very good sleep while they're in the hospital. This can leave your loved one feeling a bit discombobulated and confused when they get home, and they may need some help in order to do the simplest tasks, at least for a while.
Reach out to a home health care service to learn more about elderly home care services.