No one wants to spend even one night in the hospital. However, for those who do end up experiencing hospital stays, the chances for readmission within 30 days are quite high. The likelihood of readmission is even higher for seniors, but some of the causes may be preventable. If you’re caring for a senior loved one, it’s important to understand the most common reasons for 30-day hospital readmission.
1. Premature Discharge
Staying multiple nights in the hospital gets old fast, but going home too soon can land your loved one right back in the hospital within 30 days. In some cases, seniors insist on going home. In others, the medical staff makes the wrong decision to send someone home before he or she is ready. Either way, it’s important to receive full treatment before a hospital discharge.
2. Failure to Attend Follow-Up Appointments
Depending on the severity of your loved one’s health status, one or more trips to a doctor’s office are typically required within a week or two of leaving the hospital. Attending follow-up appointments can help with treating underlying conditions, preventing future health issues, developing a long-term plan for chronic health conditions, and getting new prescriptions. However, many seniors either refuse to go to the appointments or don’t have adequate support and transportation to get there.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. The type of home care Naples seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
3. Lack of Information
If you were present when your loved one was discharged, you probably know it can be a confusing process. The nurses and doctors are busy, the person being discharged isn’t always completely coherent, and the amount of paperwork can be confusing. For these reasons, many people leave the hospital with wrong or incomplete information. Seniors may not know which medications to take or how to take them. They may not understand the severity of their health conditions or what sort of aftercare they require. Therefore, it’s important to have a trusted person present at the time of discharge to ask questions and make sure all relevant information is provided.
If your loved one had surgery while in the hospital and has gone home with a wound, there’s always a risk of infection. In many cases, proper treatment at home can prevent infection, but sometimes it happens even with the best aftercare. The best thing to do is follow all instructions for wound or incision care. Know the signs—such as fever, redness, swelling, warmth at the site, and chills—and contact your loved one’s doctor if you even suspect an infection is present.
A professional caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, including infections. When searching for reliable at-home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones will be well taken care of. At Assisting Hands Home Care, 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.
5. Health Conditions
In many cases, the senior’s original health condition is the cause of the 30-day hospital readmission. The condition may not be preventable, but following all instructions and attending follow-up appointments can certainly help. The most common health conditions that land seniors back in the hospital within 30 days are heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, and hip or knee replacements.
6. Refusal to Accept Further Care
For many seniors with serious illnesses or chronic diseases, their doctors may recommend temporary rehabilitation or in-home care after a hospital stay. Understandably, most seniors just want to go home and forget about what happened. Make sure your loved one knows the pros and cons of accepting further care, including the potential for readmission.
Many aging adults need assistance when they return home after being hospitalized. 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 Naples, 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. Reach out to us at Assisting Hands Home Care if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today.