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Strategies to Lower Hospital Readmission Risk

By , 9:00 am on

People who visit the hospital for an overnight stay are approximately 20 percent more likely to be readmitted within 30 days. This is especially true for those with heart or respiratory issues, and it’s even more common among seniors. No one wants to spend more time in the hospital than they have to, as it can have a negative impact on mental and physical health. If your senior loved one has been in the hospital recently, follow these practices to reduce the chance of readmission.

Don’t Go Home Too Early

It’s understandable that your loved one wants to go home as soon as possible, but it’s important to stay as long as the doctors recommend. If you feel like your loved one is being sent home too soon, speak up. Infections can develop, complications can arise, and an illness or injury that isn’t fully treated can turn into something more serious. It’s also important that your loved one is completely honest about his or her symptoms when the doctors and nurses begin talking about discharge.

Accept Post-Hospital Care if Necessary

Depending on why your loved one is in the hospital, the doctor may recommend some sort of transitional care upon discharge, which could mean going to a rehabilitation facility, spending time in an assisted living home, or accepting in-home care for a while. While many seniors are quick to dismiss such offers, it’s worth taking seriously. It’s much better to recover at home with the help of a caregiver than it is to return to the hospital a few weeks later.

Phoenix homecare 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.

Monitor Vital Signs at Home

In the days and weeks following the discharge, help your loved one keep an eye on his or her vital signs. Blood pressure cuffs and thermometers can be purchased for home use. If your loved one is diabetic, make sure to monitor his or her blood sugar. Keeping up with these important numbers can help you spot signs that something isn’t right before your loved one ends up in the emergency room.

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 Phoenix, AZ, 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.

Make Appropriate Lifestyle Changes

Upon discharge, your loved one’s doctors may recommend some lifestyle changes. Light exercise, a new diet, stopping smoking, cutting back on alcohol—the sooner your loved one can start, the better the chances of avoiding hospital readmission. These changes can be difficult, so make sure to provide your loved one with as much support as possible.

Make Sure You Understand the Care Plan

When the doctors and nurses discharge your loved one from the hospital, they’ll provide a transitional care plan, which includes information about the reason your loved one was in the hospital, changes to medications, follow-up appointments, information regarding lifestyle changes, and everything else you need to know about your loved one’s care at home. If you don’t understand something or feel it’s incomplete, ask questions until you and your loved one understand what’s expected after the hospital stay.

Follow Up with Doctors and Manage Medication

Have prescriptions filled the day your loved one leaves the hospital, and make sure he or she understands when and how to take all new medications. Schedule any follow-up appointments if the hospital didn’t do it for you, and don’t cancel or postpone them.

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to doctor appointments. When searching for reliable 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at 602.388.1085 today.