Friday, January 06, 2017

Guide to keeping senior family members from needing hospitalisation

A guide for families to help them keep senior members from having to go to hospital during the peak winter illness season is available from Kilcullen-based Home Instead Senior Care, writes Brian Byrne.

The free guide, Five Ways to Prevent Senior Hospitalisations, includes information about common risk factors and the steps that families can take to help ensure a healthy lifestyle.

The advice is based on surveys with nurses in Ireland, who say that the most common reason for seniors eventually needing hospitalisation for winter illnesses is leaving it too late to seek medical attention.

The illnesses at this time of the year which can lead to seniors hospitalisation are primarily respiratory infections, such as flu or pneumonia, and other winter hazards.

‘Family intervention’ at an early stage is a key element in preventing hospitalisation, and the nurses in the survey unanimously agreed that families’ role is as important as the work of the medical community in keeping older people from requiring hospital treatment.

“It can start with as simple an intervention as making sure your older loved one, family member or friend has received the flu vaccine,” says Amanda Bohan of Home Instead.

Following doctors’ orders, not ignoring symptoms, reducing risks of falling, staying active physically and mentally, and maintaining a healthy diet are the fundamental elements to keep seniors out of hospital.

The booklet also has a detailed appendix on making homes safer for older people, room by room.

The guide can be obtained by calling 045 484623 or going online to