When a senior experiences a healthcare emergency that sends him or her to the hospital, the healthcare provider’s goal is to provide a long-term fix for the issue. However, many seniors have relapses that can send them right back to the hospital after they get out. Here are some important things you need to know about hospital readmission for seniors.
Typical Time Periods for Readmissions
When discussing hospital readmission rates, most researchers look at the time period spanning thirty days after a senior gets out of the hospital. A 2018 study from the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at the cases of more than 700,000 seniors who had unplanned hospital stays over the course of seven years. The researchers found that 12.6 percent of people in the study over the age of 65 ended up in the hospital again within 30 days. Interestingly, more than two thirds of these readmissions were during the first 15 days after the seniors were initially released, while only one third occurred during the rest of the 30-day period after release from the hospital.
How Various Illness Types Affect Readmission
Not all types of illnesses result in the same exact statistics. Data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the 30-day readmission rate for heart failure was 24.8 percent, while the 30-day readmission rate for seniors with pneumonia was significantly lower, at 18.3 percent. Though readmission rates for heart issues were higher than those for pneumonia, seniors with pneumonia were more likely to be readmitted three or more times for the same issue. Seniors with renal disease, cancer, or peripheral vascular disease were also likely to be readmitted more often.
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 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.
Risk Factors for Higher Readmission Rates
The biggest risk factor for readmission is simply whatever condition the individual senior has. Statistical data from a 2018 study in Geriatrics and Gerontology International shows that with each additional medication a senior is prescribed after hospital release, the risk of rehospitalization increases by 4 percent. Those who have hypertension are also more likely to have to return to the hospital. Seniors who go to rehabilitation centers instead of returning home after being discharged have a 32 percent higher rate of rehospitalization, and those who are discharged without long-term care plans or scheduled follow-up visits are far more likely to need to be readmitted.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to follow-up doctor appointments. When searching for reliable Denver in-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.
How to Prevent Readmission
The most important thing to do if you want to prevent your loved one from being rehospitalized is work with the doctor to plan appropriate care following the initial hospitalization. Regularly getting recommended checkups and making sure your loved one has devoted care afterward makes a huge difference. Lifestyle changes such as lowering blood pressure and losing weight can also lead to a better outcome.
Denver home care service 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.