Strategies for Lowering Hospital Readmission Risk

By 9  am on

How to Reduce Senior Hospital Readmissions in Des Moines, IA

The first 72 hours after being discharged from the hospital are critical for a senior who is recovering from recent surgery or an illness. Although hospitals go to great lengths to make sure seniors have the best chances for full recovery, a large part of preventing readmissions is based on the type of care seniors receive once they arrive home. Here are the most effective ways to reduce hospital readmissions and safeguard your aging loved one’s health.

Understand the Treatment Plan

When the doctors and nurses discharge your loved one from the hospital, they’ll provide a transitional care plan, which includes information about the reason your loved one was in the hospital, changes to medications, follow-up appointments, information regarding lifestyle changes, and everything else you need to know about your loved one’s care at home.  Discharge instructions can often be full of complicated medical terminology that covers multiple pages. During discharge, it’s important for your loved one to have a trusted advocate such as a family member or caregiver present to ask questions regarding the treatment plan. This will ensure each person involved in your loved one’s care understands what must be done during the recovery process. During the first few days after hospital discharge, seniors are especially vulnerable to further injuries and infections. Taking extra care to follow the treatment plan during this critical period will pay off in reduced readmission risk and help your loved one enjoy the best chances for a full recovery.

Arrange for In-Home Care

Before your loved one comes home, set up a safe and comfortable space where he or she can recover. In addition to creating a comfortable home environment, it may also be necessary to arrange for an in-home caregiver who can assist with medication reminders and other portions of the discharge care instructions. Additionally, having a cheerful caregiver visit each day can keep your loved one’s spirits up so he or she can focus on recovery.  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.

Make Appropriate Lifestyle Changes

When your parent is discharged, his or her doctors may recommend some lifestyle changes, such as doing light exercise, implementing a new diet, stopping smoking, and cutting back on alcohol. The sooner your loved one can implement these changes, the better his or her chances of avoiding hospital readmission will be. These changes can be difficult, so make sure to provide your loved one with as much support as possible. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Des Moines in-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Attend Follow-Up Appointments

Following discharge from the hospital, your loved one will need to attend follow-up appointments to ensure his or her health is continuing to get better. Even if your loved one is feeling better, follow-up appointments are essential for reducing the likelihood of readmission. Schedule these appointments as soon as possible, and make sure your loved one has a safe mode of transportation available on the days of the appointments. A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to doctor appointments. When searching for reliable elderly 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. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438.


    Request Free Information or
    Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation