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Most Effective Ways to Reduce Hospital Readmission Risk

By , 9:00 am on

After being treated for an illness or injury, most seniors don’t want to head back to the hospital anytime soon. When seniors are injured or have compromised immune systems, being readmitted to the hospital could potentially put their health in danger, which is why older adults and their caregivers should spend some time familiarizing themselves with the best methods and strategies for reducing hospital readmissions.

Work with the Hospital’s Discharge Planner

Most hospitals have full-time discharge planners on staff, and meeting with one of those individuals can be very helpful. The discharge planner can help you and your senior loved one come up with a short-term recovery plan so you know exactly what to expect in the coming weeks. The vast majority of hospital readmissions occur within the first 30 days of release, and you need to be especially diligent during that time. The planner can also schedule follow-up treatments and checkups.

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable elderly 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.

Fully Understand the Medication

When seniors are discharged, they might be given multiple prescriptions, and they should fully understand what all of those drugs do. Many drugs produce unusual side effects, and some of those side effects could be alarming at first. You must also know exactly when each of those medications must be taken to avoid overdosing or underdosing. Spending some time studying each medication can greatly reduce the risk of being readmitted to the hospital.

Master Any Medical Equipment to Be Used

Even though some medical equipment might seem fairly easy to use, you should still ask the doctor to explain every device in detail. If you have any questions about the equipment, you’ll need to speak up before you leave the hospital. You can also ask the medical team if they have any training programs for the devices. Some hospitals offer free training programs to caregivers who would like to familiarize themselves with equipment such as walkers and oxygen tanks.

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 Edmonton, AB, 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.

Keep a Recovery Diary

Being discharged from the hospital can be overwhelming for older adults, and it can be easy to forget or overlook important information, which is why you should start a recovery diary as soon as your loved one leaves the hospital. The diary should include a list of all the medications that must be taken, instructions on how to operate any medical equipment, and a calendar of upcoming appointments. You should also jot down any questions you have between appointments so you don’t forget to ask the doctor.

Carefully Follow All Aftercare Instructions

Some of the instructions you receive might seem confusing, but you must carefully follow them no matter what. Those instructions are going to be given for very specific reasons, and your loved one might develop a wide variety of secondary health complications if they aren’t followed. If any instructions don’t make sense or seem contradictory, bring up those issues with the doctor before you leave the hospital.

Edmonton 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (780) 977-7379 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.