Practically every older adult will be hospitalized at least a few times over the years for issues such as infections and broken bones. While those hospital visits are going to be vital to a senior’s health and wellbeing, they can be very risky as well, which is one of the reasons many healthcare experts and caregivers focus on avoiding hospital readmissions. Luckily, with the proper aftercare plan and some ongoing assistance, the average senior won’t need to head back to the hospital after being discharged.
Potential Risks of Hospital Stays
Even though hospital visits are essential in many situations, it’s important to realize those trips could also be harmful to a senior’s health. When an older adult is in a hospital, his or her immune system is going to be bombarded with germs that it might not be exposed to otherwise, which can lead to a variety of health complications, from the common flu to a severe respiratory infection. Staying at the hospital can also increase the risk of medical errors, bedsores, UTIs, and other serious health problems.
A professional caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable elder 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.
Common Causes of Hospital Readmissions
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), between three and five million hospital readmissions take place every year, and those return visits are caused by many different issues. Pneumonia continues to be one of the most common causes of readmissions, but congestive heart failure is a major problem as well. Sepsis is another complication older adults can develop, and it’s often caused by germs that enter the bloodstream after a surgical procedure. Many hospital readmissions are also the result of issues that take place during recovery. Some seniors ignore follow-up appointments with their doctors, while others don’t take their pills correctly, and those mistakes can lead to life-threatening health issues.
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 Denver, CO, 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.
Necessity of Working with a Discharge Specialist
Well before leaving the hospital, a senior should schedule an appointment with a discharge specialist. Hospital administrators understand that readmissions can be very risky, and one of the best ways to reduce their readmission rates is to establish dedicated discharge teams. A discharge specialist can help you and your loved one come up with a short-term recovery plan for the weeks following the hospital visit. This plan will include vital information such as which medications your loved one will be taking, what type of food he or she should eat, and a schedule for follow-up appointments.
Importance of At-Home Care
Maintaining a safe and comfortable environment can speed up recovery and reduce the risk of secondary health complications. Before heading home, set up an area where your loved one can relax in a comfortable position and have access to necessities such as a restroom. You’ll also need to be very diligent about medications and proper wound care.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Denver senior care 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.