The majority of hospital readmissions happen within the first 30 days after people are released by their medical teams to go home. Seniors are the demographic most likely to be readmitted, and this is due to several different factors that affect their health. As hospitals are being challenged by the government to lower their readmission rates, more is being learned about what causes them to happen. These five causes of readmissions keep coming up in the reports, and each one is correctable.
1. Leaving the Hospital Too Early
Modern medicine has made it possible for many hospital stays to be reduced in length. For instance, many surgeries that used to require weeks of recovery can now be handled in a way that allows people to go home in just a few days. Although healing at home is often preferable, you should also make sure your aging loved one is ready. If you feel as though your loved one is leaving the hospital too soon, ask the medical team questions about what you need to do to prevent a readmission.
2. Failing to Follow the Discharge Instructions
Seniors are sometimes confused by lengthy discharge instructions. Your loved one may also be unable to perform certain parts of his or her care alone. For instance, your parent may skip taking medication if he or she cannot get out of bed to get it out of the cabinet. Your loved one may also take too much medication if he or she cannot remember taking a dose. Someone should stick close to your loved one in the first few weeks after returning home to ensure he or she understands and is able to follow the discharge instructions.
A professional caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable senior home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more.
3. Sustaining a Serious Injury
People are most vulnerable to injuries after they get home. In fact, seniors have been injured just trying to get into their homes on the first day they were allowed to return. Most injuries are preventable during this time. Provide support at home, such as assistance with bathing and getting dressed, until your loved one is steady on his or her feet.
4. Skipping Follow-Up Care
Health conditions that are common among seniors, such as strokes and joint replacement surgeries, often require many weeks of therapy during recovery. Your loved one may also be scheduled for follow-up appointments to check on wound healing after surgery. Find out if your loved one needs assistance with transportation to these appointments so he or she never misses the chance to speak with a medical professional.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Huntington homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
5. Developing a Health Complication
New and recurring health issues also lead to readmissions. For instance, a senior with COPD is more likely to experience a sudden bout of severe respiratory distress. Heart failure is also a concern for seniors who have cardiovascular disease. Continue to monitor your loved one’s other health conditions, and seek prompt medical attention if he or she develops warning signs such as difficulty breathing.
Many aging adults need assistance when they return home after being hospitalized. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Huntington, WV, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (304) 521-2909 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.