More than any other age group, seniors who have been hospitalized are more likely to return to the hospital within a month or so of discharge, which can have a negative effect on mental and physical health. However, doctors, nurses, and other medical care professionals are currently working together to find ways to reduce hospital readmissions for older adults. Take a look at some of the benefits of doing so.
Increased Mental Health
Studies have shown that the longer older adults stay in the hospital, the more likely they are to experience symptoms of cognitive decline, including memory loss and general confusion. Seniors are at risk for becoming temporarily delirious after any hospital stay, and multiple stays can increase the risk. Boredom, agitation, and physiological issues, such as changes in blood sugar, are all thought to influence hospital-related delirium.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. 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.
Multiple hospital stays mean multiple days spent in bed, which can lead to physical weakness and even increase the severity of disabilities your senior loved one may already be experiencing. The more time your loved one stays in the hospital, the weaker his or her muscles become. Medications, disrupted sleep, and other conditions associated with multiple hospital stays can also lead to physical weakness.
Because hospital readmission can lead to a general decrease in mental and physical health, you may find that your loved one is unable to live as independently as he or she did before. Your loved one may experience falls, lack the ability to navigate his or her own home, or have difficulty eating or getting dressed. Seniors who don’t go back to the hospital are more likely to remain as independent as possible.
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 Barrie, ON, 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.
Seniors are already one of the most stressed age groups, especially if they’re living with chronic health issues. The more time spent in a hospital feeling a lack of control over daily life, the more likely your loved one is to experience stress, which can lead to a whole new level of health concerns.
Ways to Reduce Your Loved One’s Chances for Readmission
If your loved one was recently hospitalized, there are some things you can do to prevent readmission in the near future:
1. Follow all discharge instructions closely – From new prescriptions to follow-up appointments, make sure you and your loved one understand your responsibilities for continuing care once he or she has left the hospital. If something is unclear, ask the nurse or doctor.
2. Spend more time with your loved one at home – Once your loved one returns home from the hospital, you may want to spend more time together to make sure he or she takes medication on time, eats a healthy diet, and has transportation to and from appointments. You can also keep an eye on his or her general mental state and physical health.
3. Monitor vital signs – Make sure you have equipment handy to take your loved one’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, weight, blood sugar, oxygen level, or any other vital signs that are appropriate to his or her situation. If you see a change, you can follow up with a primary care physician before it escalates into a trip to the ER.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable Barrie home care service 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. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at 705-503-2273 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.