1. Premature Hospital ReleaseIt only stands to reason that if older adults are released from the hospital before they’re ready to leave, they’ll be more likely to need additional inpatient care within 30 days of discharge. This is sometimes a judgment call on the part of the medical staff. However, you may be able to reduce your senior loved one’s risk of readmission due to early discharge by: • Asking for clear reasons your loved one is being discharged • Assessing your parent’s physical capabilities and mental alertness • Raising any objections to discharge you might have if you notice anything troubling
2. Post-Hospital SyndromePost-hospital syndrome is a term used to describe the period of vulnerability when a senior is just released from the hospital. During this time, there’s an elevated risk of readmission due to “adverse events.” These types of events include infections, reinjuries, and the development of entirely new problems, such as pneumonia. Because your loved one is especially vulnerable during the first month out of the hospital, make the transition as safe and beneficial as possible by: • Making sure the home is ready before he or she is released • Ordering post-hospitalization meds in advance • Providing an appropriate level of assistance or supervision • Getting care instructions in writing so there are no misunderstandings A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Des Moines 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.
3. Medication IssuesWhen you factor in the fact that seniors are often given additional medications to take after being released from the hospital, it’s easy to see why medication issues are another common reason for 30-day hospital readmissions. You may be able to reduce this risk for your loved one by: • Disclosing all medications he or she is currently taking • Confirming he or she will be able to take the meds as directed when released • Double-checking with the pharmacist to make sure there aren’t any drug interaction risks
4. Chronic Conditions
According to a report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform (CHQPR) on elderly hospital readmissions, seniors are more likely to return to the hospital shortly after discharge if they have ongoing issues with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Mitigate this risk for your loved one by: • Encouraging regular exercise • Helping him or her make healthy food choices • Learning more about your loved one’s chronic condition so you know how to spot potential problems early
- Getting tips from the doctor on how to best manage the condition when your loved one gets back home