Top 5 Best Practices for Reducing Hospital Readmissions

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Guidelines for Lowering the Risk of Hospital Readmission in Des Moines, IA

After your senior loved one has been discharged from the hospital, you should do everything in your power to make sure he or she doesn’t need to head back. Being readmitted to the hospital could expose your loved one to more germs and increase his or her recovery time. Luckily, seniors can avoid hospital readmissions by planning ahead and surrounding themselves with solid support teams. Here are some of the best practices for reducing hospital readmissions 

1. Speak Up before Being Discharged

Following a lengthy hospital stay, many seniors just want to get home as quickly as possible. While the thought of sleeping in their own beds is going to be tempting, seniors and their caregivers must speak up if they have any concerns. A few lingering aches and pains are probably going to be fine, but serious health issues should never be ignored. If your loved one is still in severe pain, you need to speak with the medical team before he or she is discharged. Professional caregivers can monitor seniors for post-hospitalization complications. 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.

2. Work with the Discharge Planner

Just before your loved one heads home, schedule an appointment with a discharge planner. Most major hospitals now have discharge planners who can simplify the transition from hospital to home. They’ll provide all the information you’re going to need to keep your loved one safe in the coming weeks as well as a list of upcoming checkups, treatments, and therapy sessions.  An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after a hospital stay. When searching for reliable senior home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones 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.

3. Get the Instructions in Writing

Even if the doctor’s instructions seem straightforward, you should still get all of that information in writing. No one wants to get home from the hospital only to realize he or she doesn’t know how much medication to take. You also need to get written instructions for any medical equipment you’ll be using. Devices such as oxygen tanks and IV machines can be very complex, and you or your loved one must master all the basic controls before being discharged.

4. Follow Medication Instructions Exactly as Prescribed

One of the most common mistakes seniors make is ignoring the instructions for their medications. After being home for a few days, they might begin to think their prescriptions are no longer as important, which can lead to major health complications down the road. The instructions for the medications could be very complicated, but they must be taken exactly as prescribed. 

5. Get the Home Ready

Every senior needs to have a comfortable and safe place to relax once he or she gets home. In addition to putting some extra pillows on the bed and removing clutter from the floors, you should also make sure the refrigerator is filled with cool drinks and healthy foods. Staying hydrated and following a healthy diet can greatly reduce the risk of being readmitted to the hospital.  Des Moines elder 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 you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (515) 264-2438.


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