Most hospitals have programs in place to reduce readmissions. However, many times, readmissions are unavoidable. Seniors, especially those who have severe illnesses or multiple health conditions, are at high risk for hospital readmissions. Here are some ways hospital readmissions may affect your senior loved one.
1. Increased Risk for Infection
Seniors with suppressed immune systems as a result of receiving chemotherapy or taking anti-rejection drugs after organ transplants are at high risk for readmissions. In addition to the infections themselves, antibiotic therapy used to manage the infections may cause seniors to become ill.
A professional in-home caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for infections. Des Moines senior 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.
2. Eating Disorders
A disruption in a senior’s regular pattern of eating as a result of a hospital readmission may lead to gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. It may also cause loss of appetite and anorexia as a result of eating new hospital foods or from the stress of being back in the hospital. If approved by the physician, bring in your loved one’s favorite foods from home to prevent nutritional deficiencies and digestive problems.
3. Pet Problems
When seniors return home from a hospital readmission, they may find their pets are acting unusually. Separation anxiety can cause marking behavior in intact male animals, which can ruin furniture and carpeting. Pets may also become traumatized as a result of your loved one’s absence and have accidents in the house or chew up the furniture, which can cause both emotional and financial hardships for your loved one.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. When searching for reliable at-home care 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.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive problems may become disoriented, confused, or aggressive after a hospital readmission. Cognitively impaired seniors enjoy order and routines, and when their routines are disrupted, their responses may be unfavorable. If possible, stay with your loved one as long as you can on the first day of readmission so he or she can become acclimated to the new hospital routine and you can reduce anxiety and undesirable behaviors.
5. Insurance Issues
Your loved one may be burdened with the task of paying hospital bills after a readmission. Coupled with the stress of hospitalization, communicating with the insurance company and paying bills may be added stressors. If possible, temporarily take over this task, at least until your loved one has made a full recovery and regained his or her strength.
6. Fear of Falling
Many seniors, especially those with mobility limitations, may become fearful at the thought of falling. The fear may prevent them from using the toilet, and they may have accidents in bed. This fear causes an increased risk for skin breakdown if the individual isn’t cleaned up right away, and it can also cause significant self-esteem problems. Advise your loved one to call the nursing staff for assistance when he or she wants to get out of bed.
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 Des Moines, IA, 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 Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (515) 264-2438 today.