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We are at the beginning of this journey following a stroke and broken hip. Thanks for any help you can provide!
Tom

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Tom, sorry, I just got a new pc and everything is now dorked - so I found my own answer "helpful." Ha! What I said is true though and so are all the others. There are so many things to consider. Pain management - definitely! In line with that...monitor their prescriptions and mood/behavior. She/he may need also need an anti-depressant. This is common but often over looked.

Hygiene is a huge factor! Do your best to make sure he/she is kept clean to avoid essentially diaper rash and potentially deadly bed sores.

As mentioned above by other posters - driving/monitoring doctors' appointments and general shopping/hair appointments can easily require a lot of your time.

His/her health are the main thing, but it's also really important to ensure they're engaged socially as best they can. For example, I know someone who spends so much time taking care of what I've listed above, that unless she's going to the doctor or hair appointment - all she does is stare at 4 walls all day long except for watching TV or reading her mail. This may seem superfluous, but if you poke around this site enough, you'll find old folks who blew over $100 on "sweepstakes" type mail because they have nothing else to do.

Don't be afraid to ask for help and please don't wait to ask for help to the point you're filled with resentment, etc. from other family members. There's no point in that. Hang in there!
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Pain management and medicine management is huge with injuries. We have gone through quite a few with my grandma. Also making sure they can get around easily such as making sure there are walkers, wheelchairs if needed, wide doorways, grab bars to help with transferring, open spaces to get around easily in, and making sure food is available because although to us that's a simple thing but to someone who can't get around, having food and water is tough.

My grandma needs help with groceries, medicines, bathing, doctor appointments, getting dressed, having support walking around (she uses a walker but we follow behind her so that in case she gets dizzy or confused, we can remind her where to go and to sit on her walker for a break if needed), prepping meals, bill payments if needed (my grandma does not do any bills), cleaning, house care, lawn maintenance (if they do not live with you already), and overall making sure the house is safe. We had an occupational therapist come through to help with making sure doorways were wide enough for various equipment, for suggesting where to put grab bars to help her stand up straight, for suggestions on how to make the shower safer for her (we opted for a tub cut so she can step in without climbing and a shower seat for safety), for teaching her how to use her walker (she was at the time using a gray one and kept carrying it around so she suggested we switch to the ones with a seat which has worked 100% better), and for removal of rugs, and other trip hazards.
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My parents' social lives involved getting in their car and going someplace, every day. Now that they don't drive, they really appreciate me coming over and even on spur of moment, if I'm running an errand or going to LLibrary, I stop by to ask I'd tthey'd like to come along. At first they didn't want to, but I kept asking, and we have had some really good.conversations during these rides. Other things we do for them is cook meals and put into 10-12 Rubbermaid partitioned dinner trays, and currently we are going into their basement for their CChristmas decorations and helping get ready for the holidays. And oodles of other things, calling to make doctor appt or even calling anyplace--they are not online so they have to pick up the phone--they cannot handle those multi-level menus that have you press 1 for English, 3 for this and 9 for that. Sorry I have to go to work now, but there's a lot of value in the SMALL things. They might be BIG things for a senior.
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With my aging parents who still live on their own.... transportation is the #1 thing on this list since they stopped driving. If you become their *wheels* set boundaries, that was something I never did and how I regretted not doing that.

By boundaries I mean if you are employed, limit doctor visitors to those days that are easiest for you to take off from work. Some employers frown on too many days off, you don't want to lose your job. And you don't want to take all of your vacation days and sick days as you will need those days in the future. Try to get back-to-back appointments for both parents, thus one trip and one morning or afternoon off.

Our elders tend to get very bored sitting at home and enjoy getting into the car going somewhere, anywhere, even if it is just a drive. So unless you truly love driving, I would limit those joy rides.
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Tom, I commend you for asking. My answer is, "What DON'T they need help with?" Asking that question, may shorten your answer in a way you can more easily cope with. So much depends upon the severity of the stroke(s), how active she was before the broken hip, and how well she is coping with the hip replacement.
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Tom,
I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you’re facing with your parents’ health lately. As people age, there are typical warning signs you can watch for that may be indicators that extra help is needed. If you see limitations in their Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s), such as trouble performing housework, difficulty managing money and problems remembering to take medication, you may want to consider hiring outside help for a few hours a day. Once you notice hindrances in their Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as problems bathing, grooming, incontinence, and functional mobility, a more intensive care plan might be in order. You can also take steps to ensure that they are safe at home by performing safety checks, considering a medical alert system for the house, and by visiting often to keep your eye on them.
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We've had many modifications done. She had a walk-in, sit-down shower put in, her doors widened, and rails put on her outside stairs. My mom didn't have Medicaid at the time-if she had they would have paid for some of the modifications. Oh well, at least she'd getting the care now. =)
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Dementia patients need you to really understand what they are going thru. They are scared. They KNOW something is wrong but cannot articulate exactly what that are feeling and why all of sudden they feel the way they do. they need PATIENCE. They need to know that family LOVES them and that they are NOT A BURDEN event though caring for someone with dementia will put so much stress on the caregiver that they are not themselves; they do not react to things the way normally did with their parents. The dementia patient will pick up on the stress and translate your stress into them being a burden. So get help from anyone you can. I can tell you from experience I was one of the most loving, caring daughters on the planet. When me Mom had dementia I was so bad at being a caregiver that I got burned out and regret everything I did. I got upset about so many things that now I feel so guilty that I did not know more about how to cope with this disease. GET HELP From anyone you can. DO NOT try to take care of your parents alone. Get good help. The aides I had from Visting Nurse were HORRIBLE. They caused more problems than they did help. SO GETTING GOOD HELP IS ON THE TOP OF THE LIST.
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Medication management is paramount, I found these organizers and have one for each of my parents. They are 30 day, with multiple slots, Morning, Noon, Evening, Night and they are a life saver. I fill them up once a month and they are set. MedCenter 31 Day Pill Organizer
There is also a reminder recorder you can get, my dad is able to remind mom (stroke last year). I agree with everyone's suggestions as well. Good Luck!
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Tom, I need their ages, and their limitations. Not all "elderly" need the same things. With a fractured healing hip getting exercise is the best as the bones need exercise. A stroke takes more patience and depends on when one got to the hospital and either received/or not received the proper medications.
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first off, hopefully you accessed short term rehab for the stroke. I would do a complete analysis of their finacial state. This will determine what services they can access. Activities of daily living should be assessed. Can they cook, feed themselves, get out of bed, chair, etc independently. Are they able to toilet themselves safely. A home assessment should be done to make sure the environment is condusive to elderly people. stairs, area rugs, bathrooms are all danger zones.
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If they are still in their home or living in yours, I would spent $ on new lighting. For outside, hire someone to trim or remove shrubs, etc and put in massive amounts of solar lights in yard & solar strips on steps & ramps. For inside house, torch style lights on timers, so that they can clearly see with even light & also having it on timers establishes day & night patterns to cut down on sun downing & have them on a system for rise & shine & bedtime.

For my mom torch lights were great as she wouldn't mess with them like she would with table lamps. I got all at Ikea for under $200.
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After rehab to increase functioning I find the following useful: Medication management-I put my father's meds in cassettes so it's easier for him, meal prep-I plan and make meals so he has less cooking to do, bill paying-I complete the checks, my dad signs and I mail them in for him-I also balance his checkbook, after surgery or illness-personal care assistance is needed, chore service such as cleaning and laundry is very helpful. A lot depends on the level of functioning, some may only need partial assistance. I also do a lot of the shopping for my dad. All of the above advise is great as well. Each person is different, the physical and occupational therapist can help you determine what your mom will need some assistance with. Don't hesitate to ask them.
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Is your mom in rehab? If she's getting OT, that person will give great advice about modifying the home and what her capacity is to live alone.
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When my mom was finally home after a year of rehab (she had a massive stroke) she needed medication management, help with showering, dishes, laundry, shopping, mowing the lawn, snow removal, cooking. She has a home care worker through Medicaid that works 20 hours a week to help my mom.
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It depends so much on their capabilities. My mother has dementia. Her top needs are medication management, meal preparation, grocery shopping, bill paying and financial management, transportation, housecleaning, yard work, keeping her company, entertaining guests that come in and fielding phone calls, and household repairs. The list will be shorter for someone without dementia. Since your mother broke her hip and had a stroke, I have a feeling that medication management, meal preparation, safety inspection, and toileting will be important for her.
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