Hospital readmission rates are surprisingly high among seniors. As your aging loved one’s caregiver, you should be aware of the common reasons seniors are readmitted to a hospital following a recent stay so you can take preventative action.
1. Premature Discharge from the Hospital
Seniors are sometimes discharged from the hospital before they are ready to go home. While this is sometimes due to a shortage of beds or insurance recommendations, you should always speak up if you feel your loved one is not quite ready to go home. Sometimes, just staying one more day is enough to begin the healing process. Alternatively, a professional caregiver can attend to your loved one’s needs at home and keep a watchful eye out for potential complications.
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2. Medication Mishaps
Seniors are commonly prescribed new medications after a hospital stay. However, adding a new medication to the current routine increases the chances of an adverse reaction. For instance, your loved one could accidentally take too much of a medication if he or she experiences confusion or fatigue. He or she might also forget to take a critical dose. Before your loved one comes home, make sure you both understand the potential side effects of a medication. You can also set up an alarm system that helps your loved one remember when to take the new medications.
3. Fall-Related Injuries
While some falls are caused by medication side effects such as dizziness, some are caused by limited mobility, which is especially common after a surgery or illness that causes weakness. Seniors who have surgery on their legs may also need help getting to and from the different parts of their homes. Make sure you or another caregiver stays with your loved one for the first few days after returning home to help him or her with things such as getting out of bed in the morning.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Windermere Prestige Home Care is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
4. Secondary Infections
Your loved one may develop a secondary infection after a hospital stay. Despite the hospital’s efforts to maintain a hygienic environment, sepsis is a common infection to develop in wounds. Seniors who have been in a prone position for a prolonged period may also develop pneumonia. Keep a watchful eye on your loved one for signs of a developing infection so you can help him or her get medical attention right away. Proper wound care and personal hygiene is also effective for preventing secondary infections.
5. Failure to Receive Follow-Up Care
During the discharge process, your loved one should be provided with instructions for follow-up care that may involve checkups or therapeutic services. Read through all of the instructions and ask for clarification regarding anything you don’t understand. Then, make sure your loved one has transportation to and from follow up appointments so he or she stays up to date on continuing care.
Staying comfortable and safe at home after discharge from the hospital can be challenging for elderly people. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Altamonte Springs respite care experts from Prestige Home Care are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. Call us at (407) 232-7155 today to learn more about our services and set up a free in-home consultation.