5 Ways to Reduce Hospital Readmissions among Elderly People

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A major problem in the senior community is repeated hospital readmissions, which frequently means individuals are having difficulty healing properly following their initial stays in the hospital. Readmissions are often linked to a reduced quality of life. Fortunately, there are several strategies families can utilize to address the problem. If you want to make sure your senior loved one doesn’t end up in the hospital again, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk. 

1. Be Aware of Potential Causes of Readmission

Some of the most common reasons seniors are readmitted include heart attacks, strokes, and infections. It’s important to be aware of these potential issues so you can keep an eye out for symptoms and address them before they worsen. Try to be aware of warning signs such as shortness of breath, fever, confusion, or reddened areas around wounds. Any of these may indicate your loved one needs a trip to the doctor.

An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after a hospital stay. Homecare services agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Align Home Care Services, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

2. Write Down Doctor’s Instructions

A major cause of hospital readmissions is simply not following all the instructions for aftercare. It can be difficult to focus when you’re stressed about your loved one, but you need to pay close attention to all the instructions from doctors and other healthcare experts. Taking the time to write down instructions and ask questions can address easily preventable causes of readmission, such as infections resulting from not changing wound dressings frequently enough. 

3. Provide Assistance with Medications

A common reason seniors end up back in the hospital is improper medication use, which can include a variety of problems, such as overdosing on medications, not taking the proper prescriptions, or taking medicine at the wrong time. Therefore, you should always help your parent keep track of his or her medications after leaving the hospital. Take note of every prescribed medication, read about all the side effects carefully, and make sure the proper doses are taken at the right time.

4. Go to Follow-Up Appointments

A large number of seniors skip follow-up appointments with their doctors because they feel fine and are tired of being in healthcare environments. However, this is a problem because follow-up appointments help doctors make sure seniors are getting the care they need. Without follow-ups, minor problems can turn into major health issues that require rehospitalization. Therefore, you need to ensure your loved one gets to these appointments. 

Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Portland seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

5. Ask for Help

It’s important to remember your loved one will need a lot of extra care in the days after leaving the hospital. Many family caregivers risk getting overwhelmed when they try to do everything themselves. Talk to friends and family to see if they can assist, and consider getting help from a professional respite caregiver. 

Portland elderly 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Align Home Care Services is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (207) 835-3490 today.


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