All it takes is one wrong step and the next thing that happens is an ankle bends or twists the wrong way. If you have an elderly parent that you’re providing care for and she recently sprained or strained her ankle, here are some ways to help her recover at home.

Once you are sure it’s only a slight sprain or strain, you’ll want to enlist as much help for your parent as you can while she recovers. It may only be a few days but recovery time could last longer. This is a great time to do some research into getting some companion care at home for your parent. Companion care at home is hiring a professional who is trained in helping your parent with her needs from rewrapping her ankle to doing chores around the home that your parent should take a break from. You can hire someone to provide companion care at home for whatever period you’d like.

Here are the best ways to take care of that injured ankle. For ease in remembering the four courses of action, think of

RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

  • Rest. For some people who like to go, go, go, this can be the hardest task – the task of doing nothing. Finding your parent a good place to rest, surrounded by activities he enjoys will be the easiest way to help her stay motivated to stay off her ankle. She doesn’t need to stay in bed, but a good chair or couch, with either her favorite book or even the remote within reach, will encourage her to stay put.
  • Ice. To reduce swelling, apply ice packs throughout the day. This can be a great task that your companion care at home provider or another family member can do. The hope is that your parent doesn’t have to get up to get her own ice packs refreshed, eliminating her from succeeding at the first course of action, Rest.
  • Compression. Compressing the ankle with an ACE bandage or compression socks can also help reduce swelling and pain. Make sure the wrap is tight enough to compress but isn’t cutting off any circulation.
  • Elevation. When creating the location or locations that your parent will rest during the next few days as the ankle heels, make sure the area is set up so her ankle can be elevated as it heals. It’s important that it’s elevated as high as possible while still being comfortable. If it can be level with the hip, that is best. A long couch makes a great place to keep the leg elevated or even a comfortable ottoman that is level with the chair. Even better is one of those reclining chairs where the feet can be slightly higher than the hips.

Remember as your parent recovers to avoid any activities that will increase swelling such as hot showers or heat compresses. Follow the RICE plan and your parent’s ankle should feel better shortly. If it doesn’t, take a trip to the doctor to see if any more treatments need to take place.


If you or an aging loved one is considering companion care at home in Maple Grove, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.