5 Tips for Reducing the Need for Hospital Readmission in Aging Adults

By , 9:00 am on

Studies have shown that seniors have a 20 percent chance of returning to the hospital once they’re discharged, which can have devastating effects on their mental and physical health, leading to depression, decreased mobility, reduced independence, and much more. However, there are some things you can do to ensure your senior loved one isn’t readmitted unless absolutely necessary.

1. Go to Follow-Up Appointments

The doctors who saw your loved one in the hospital, along with those your loved one already sees, may want to schedule follow-up appointments within a week or two of discharge. Follow-up appointments allow the doctors to check up on your loved one and ensure his or her health concerns are healing or moving in the right direction. Failing to show up to these appointments could lead to hospital readmission because a health concern that isn’t healing could be getting worse. Make sure your loved one attends all follow-up appointments by reminding him or her or even providing transportation and support.

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.

2. Ask Questions at Discharge Time

When your loved one leaves the hospital, the nurse or doctor should provide a list of discharge instructions, ranging from new medications to take to guidelines for treating the ailment at home. If something isn’t clear, ask questions until you understand what’s expected after leaving the hospital. For this reason, it’s always good to be present when your loved one is discharged.

3. Take Advantage of At-Home Options

If the hospital offers your loved one temporary in-home care options, you may want to take advantage of them. These options may include an in-home nurse, wound care, physical therapy, a visit from a nutritionist, or a non-medical in-home caregiver. Having professionals follow up with your loved one means he or she will have guidance through recovery. These professionals can also spot things that may potentially go wrong before they escalate to a trip to 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 Pembroke Pines, FL, 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.

4. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

Once your loved one returns home, it may be tempting to let your guard down when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. For example, your loved one may want to order takeout instead of cooking a healthy meal, or he or she may opt to watch TV all day instead of exercising. While this is understandable, getting into a healthy routine (as long as it complies with the hospital’s discharge instructions) as soon as possible can prevent hospital readmission.

5. Take Caregiving to the Next Level

Sometimes, all it takes to keep your loved one out of the hospital is for friends and family to step up and provide more caregiving in the days and weeks following the initial discharge. If you don’t already live with your loved one, you may want to move in for a while to help with recovery and the transition from the hospital to home. If you can’t do it alone, schedule other relatives to fill in. Seniors who receive more support from their families and friends tend to heal better than those who don’t.

Pembroke Pines at-home 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (954) 374-8273 to schedule a free in-home consultation.