Strategies for Reducing Rehospitalizations Among Aging Adults

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It’s not unusual for seniors who are discharged from the hospital to return within 30 days. Hospital readmissions can be costly and discouraging for seniors and their families. Among other concerns, when readmitted to the hospital, seniors become more susceptible to hospital-acquired infections. Fortunately, there are strategies healthcare providers and families can implement to reduce the rate of hospital readmissions.

Education

Just before discharge, busy healthcare providers often review discharge instructions with seniors and their families quickly. A diagnosis such as cancer or diabetes may be overwhelming, making it a challenge for a senior to process instructions. One way to help your aging loved one retain information is to teach it in smaller chunks during the hospital stay. Providing information in this manner may work better than giving too much information immediately before leaving the hospital. Teaching or repeating the information back to medical personnel is a way you and your loved one can ask questions about anything you don’t understand before leaving the hospital.

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 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.

Post-Discharge Doctor Visits

Keeping that first appointment in the days following discharge is critical because it helps the healthcare provider diagnose and treat issues early and avoid readmitting your loved one to the hospital. Use a calendar or some other reminder to avoid missing post-discharge appointments.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Des Moines seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Technology

In some cases, technology can reduce the likelihood of a readmission. For example, a remote cardiac monitoring system is designed to notify a healthcare provider of potential issues with the heart. A virtual visit is another form of technology that can prevent readmission. Virtual visits enable seniors to interact with their doctors from home via the Internet. Seniors or their families can connect with a healthcare provider through a virtual visit app on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Remote monitoring and virtual visits enable healthcare providers to respond to and treat minor issues before they become serious problems requiring hospital readmission.

Non-Medical In-Home Care

Seniors who live alone or those who don’t have families who can assist them with recovery may be at higher risk for returning to the hospital. Even when family members are available, the transition from a hospital to home may involve more than they can handle. A non-medical in-home care provider can support families and help seniors avoid hospital readmission. In-home caregivers can assist seniors with managing medications, preparing nutritious meals, grooming, dressing, cleaning the house, and getting around at home and in the community. In-home caregivers can also transport seniors to follow-up medical appointments and spot potential problems that should be reported to healthcare providers.

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 aging 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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