Sick Grandparents? How To Make Your Hospital Stay More Comfortable

 Hospital stays are a nightmare. We all know this. However, there are new advances being made every day to make out experience better.
 
If you’re a lucky grandparent, you may have a child or adult grandchild in town that can help navigate your hospital stay. In fact, they may bring many of the items listed below can make your entire life better, not just your time spent in the hospital.

 

Below are just a few pieces of tech that can make your hospital stay less of a pain.

Vein Finder

Nobody likes to have their blood taken. This is especially the case when you’re sick. Many people are hard pokes. This can leave you and the phlebotomist frustrated. If you have veins that easily roll, collapse, are deep or are dehydrated then ask for a Vein Finder. Vein Finders are a new tool that shines infrared light illuminating your veins to the nurse. This helps avoid guesswork. They are equipped in most hospitals, but won’t be taken out unless you ask or once the nurse if frustrated.

Light Control

Patients are in the hospital for a variety of reasons. Some people will be sensitive to light; some will not. However, it is important that every hospital is equipped with adequate light control. It’s hard enough to get a good night’s sleep in the hospital even before considering that the hospital’s bright lights will be shining down on your face. If you want to have a truly comfortable experience in the hospital, you need some form of light control. Certain hospital beds will even feature light control right there on the control panel of the bed. Often times there lighting can be turned off to let you rest, but it has to be done by a nurse. Don’t hesitate to ask about lighting changes to ensure your rest.

Communication Devices

The first item on the list is something that you won’t be able to bring with you. It should be installed in most hospitals already. In fact, most hospital beds have the button right there on the control panel. Being able to directly communicate with the nursing staff is important in maintaining some level of comfort in the hospital. Some hospitals merely have pagers – pagers that let the staff know you need attention. However, many hospitals are making use of two-way radio systems to ensure that the nursing staff can connect to each other and to those radios attached to your bed. Two-way radio installations in NYC, or in a city near you, are going above and beyond to ensure that patients in the hospital are treated properly and swiftly.

If you are having a hard time reaching a nurse when they are out of the room, don’t think twice about asking if they have a radio device that will let you communicate with them. Your voice should always be heard.

If you want to have a comfortable time in the hospital, you need to be able to communicate with your nursing staff directly and quickly.

Air Your Concerns

When one is hospitalized it is a very humbling experience. Not only is one basically unclothed, but you’re in a scary situation and at the mercy of medical professionals. While they are professionals, they are also human. Meaning, they also err. Shifts are long and they are often overworked. If you aren’t being heard by a nurse, or if you have a negative experience you should speak up.

If you are not feeling up to that confrontation, ask an adult grandchild or a child to speak on your behalf

 

It is much better to talk to a supervisor and have a nurse be changed than to feel uncomfortable during your stay and have that affect your healing. Communication is important and you should feel heard. If you have a legitimate complaint with the lack of attention or mistreatment from a staff member know you’re not over reacting. Ask for the nurse change. Chances are the nurse will appreciate it too.

Comfort From Home

Obvious examples of technology that make your hospital stay more pleasant are your cellphone and perhaps a pair of earbuds. Kindles can also be useful in the hospital, but the above items are much more necessary than even your cellphone and Kindle so you can read as many books as you want. You can download audiobooks on your cellphone and listen as you rest. You’ll never know how important adequate lighting control is until you’ve had it then forced to go without.

Bring your own pillow from home, or have someone bring it to you. Asking someone to bring you an electric blanket may help you stay warm in the cold hospital. Unless they are controlling your temperature, you don’t want to end up getting sick from the AC. This is something that will greatly increase your rest and result in better healing.

Family Time

A grandma is warm hugs and sweet memories. She remembers all of your accomplishments and forgets all of your mistakes.

 

Hopefully, you will have adult grandchildren and your children that can take turns visiting you. If your grandkids are small ask your children to have them bring pictures. You can even buy a box of colored pencils and a notebook at the gift shop so when grandkids visit they can leave you encouraging messages.

A gloomy hospital room can be lit up with children’s cards and drawings cheering up your spirit during a hard time. If you don’t have grandchildren nearby you can FaceTime with them. Hearing their voices, optimism, and get-well wishes will be a nice comfort during your stay.

Don’t be afraid to ask your family to send you videos and clips to cheer your spirits. Knowing you have a team of cheerleaders will help you fight through your infirmity.

Nobody likes to go to the hospital, but I hope these tips will help your next stay become more comfortable.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Seniors (and How to Get Started)

 Written by: Harry Cline

While you may think of yoga and meditation as hippy stuff, you should seriously consider these healthy habits if you’re approaching or already in your senior years. There are an estimated 2.9 million people over the age of 55 who benefit from a regular yoga practice.

 

 

It’s a low-impact workout that emphasizes listening to your body’s needs, so it can help build strength, balance, and flexibility without risking injury.

 

Yoga and meditation can help with various problems including substance abuse and addiction. For many people in addiction recovery, having a good relationship with the physical self is just as important as the spiritual one. A yoga practice and regular meditation help relieve stress and promote mindfulness, which can make every day more enjoyable. Many people find that yoga and meditation help when it comes to pain relief and tolerance, as well. Additionally, yoga and meditation provide a sense of empowerment that maintains a healthy self-esteem.

 

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a 26,000-year-old practice that originated during India’s Golden Age. Since then, it’s branched out to different ways of practice with their own specific intentions. Generally, yoga involves holding specific positions or “poses” while focusing and maintaining breath.

 

While in the West it’s often considered just as a form of exercise, there is actually a philosophy and spirituality to yoga as well

 

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a mental exercise that allows a person to regulate their attention, calm the mind, and introspect. Regular meditation improves a person’s health, wellness, performance, focus, memory, creativity, and self-control. There are many ways a person can meditate.

The more common image we conjure up is of a meditating person being still in a seated position for a set amount of time. However, one can also practice a kind of moving meditation, including yoga.

Setting Up a Yoga or Meditation Space

Before you dive into yoga and meditation, it’s helpful to create a quiet, relaxing spacein your home where you can practice. The location of this space is up to you; however, it should ideally be somewhere away from distractions.

You might consider a spot with a view of nature, if possible, or include some green potted plants or gentle candles to help soothe your mind

 

Starting Yoga and Meditation as a Senior

Many people are nervous about starting a yoga practice, unsure if it’s for them. But yoga is for people of all ages. Most classes welcome anyone, whether you’re younger, a grandparent, or have certain physical limitations. You can do yoga standing up, sitting in a chair, or resting on your back. It’s all about finding what works best for you.

If you are completely new to yoga, it may be helpful to attend a class at a local studio or at your gym. When you go to a yoga class, the instructor can help you when it comes to refining your poses and encouraging breath.

Remember: Not all yoga classes are the same. Seniors should avoid advanced classes and heated styles like Bikram yoga.

Look for classes labeled as beginner and for styles like “hatha,” “Iyengar,” and “restorative” yoga.

It often helps to learn a few basic poses before you attend your first yoga class:

⦁ Mountain Pose, or Tadasana, is the foundational pose for all other standing poses.
⦁ Tree Pose, or Vriksasana, increases strength and stability in the legs.
⦁ Low Lunge Pose, or Anjaneyasana, releases tension and strengthens the hips.
⦁ Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, keeps the spine flexible.
⦁ Legs Up the Wall Pose, or Viparita Karani, is helpful in relieving anxiety, mild depression, insomnia, digestive problems, varicose veins, menopausal symptoms, and tired legs.

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While there are meditation classes you can take, it’s definitely not something you have to take classes to learn how to do. You can find guided meditations online through various sources. There are even apps that help you build your practice. However, all you really need is a nice, quiet space where you can sit undistracted and focus inward.

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When you start your meditation, sit down on a cushion or pillow and set a timer to your desired amount of time. Keep your back straight and soften your gaze. It may help to light a candle that you can focus on. Bring your attention to your breath and allow yourself to simply release any thoughts or sensations you become aware of. The mind will wander — just bring your attention back to your breath when you start to notice it. Most importantly, be kind to yourself as you improve your overall practice.

Yoga and meditation are healthy habits that help parents, grandparents, and caregivers live better lives. Yoga classes are very helpful for beginners to ensure that they are doing the poses in a safe and effective manner. Meditation, however, can be started at any time. Start today!

*** Harry Cline is creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-To’s for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.