The New England Journal of Medicine published an article reporting approximately 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 are readmitted to hospitals up to one year following their initial discharge. The article explained many of the readmissions are avoidable. Family members can play a major role in helping their senior loved ones maintain their health and prevent further hospitalization.
1. Premature Discharge
Studies performed by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and other scientists reveal approximately 20 percent of elderly people are discharged from hospitals too early. The researchers learned having one abnormal vital sign raises the risk of readmission by 36 percent. Having multiple abnormal vital signs multiplies the risk fourfold. Family members need to have a physician verify vital signs before the senior leaves the facility.
2. Lack of Understanding
When an older adult is ready to leave the hospital, it’s a good idea for a family member to be present to hear the discharge instructions. Otherwise, the senior may not hear all that’s said or understand the directives. Make sure your loved one understands what he or she must do according to the physician’s requirements. The instructions are also typically provided in writing. Make sure to keep the document readily available.
3. Medication Errors
Before hospital discharge, it’s not unusual for older adults to receive prescriptions for a variety of medications. The formulas are often prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain or regulate blood pressure or heart rate. Some seniors might also require anticoagulants or diuretics. For the medications to work effectively and safely, they must be taken as prescribed. Monitor your loved one for possible side effects. Document all medications, times taken, and dosages for further reference.
4. No Follow-Up Care
Older adults are often advised to see their healthcare providers at some point after discharge. Physicians need to evaluate for recovery progress and the effectiveness of treatments and medications. However, many seniors fail to keep follow-up appointments. Ensure your loved one makes and keeps future appointments.
Many aging adults need assistance when they return home after being hospitalized. Fortunately, there is professional 24-hour care La Mesa seniors can rely on. Home can be more comfortable and safer for your loved one with the help of a highly trained professional caregiver.
5. Ignoring Progressive Symptoms
Following surgery or other invasive procedures, incision wounds may become infected or irritated. Medications might cause potentially harmful side effects that affect appetite or sleep patterns or cause other health issues. Your loved one might experience more pain than he or she is willing to admit. By monitoring your loved one once he or she returns home, you can easily become aware of potential problems. When an issue arises, consult with your parent’s physician.
Once home from the hospital, your loved one might feel too fatigued or have too much physical discomfort to put forth the effort to eat a healthy diet. Consider preparing meals for your loved one and monitoring the types and quantities of foods consumed.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. From assistance with exercise and mobility to preparing meals and offering medication reminders, La Mesa elderly home care experts can help your loved one continue to live independently in a variety of ways. Reach out to Coast Care Partners when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us at 619-354-2544 today to learn more about our high-quality home care services.