When seniors are well prepared for hospital discharge, they’re less likely to get readmitted soon after. One of the most important ways your aging loved one can be prepared to go home is through discharge planning and education. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of hospital readmissions.
Ask for Help
The discharge planner will advise your loved one to ask for help around the house or with the activities of daily living. Elderly people who have been newly discharged from the hospital are often weak or recovering from major surgery, and they may need help with household chores or require temporary caregivers. Failure to ask for help may result in a fall or significant decrease in health status, requiring hospital readmission.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for seniors who are 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.
Don’t Neglect Wound Care
If your loved one had surgery while in the hospital, the discharge nurse will teach him or her how to care for the surgical wound. Your loved one may also be required to perform a return demonstration so the nurse can see that he or she is using proper techniques. The educator will tell your loved one to never neglect wound care because it can prevent infection while speeding up the healing process. Failure to take care of a surgical wound is one of the most common reasons for hospital readmissions among elderly people.
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.
Consider Generic Medications
One reason for hospital readmissions among the elderly is financial hardship. When seniors are unable to afford the new medications that were prescribed in the hospital, they may be at risk for readmission. The nurse educator may advise your loved one to ask the physician to consider changing brand-name medications to generic equivalents. Generic medications are almost identical to their prescription counterparts and are much more affordable. They typically work just as well as prescription drugs, and when costs are lower, aging adults are more likely to take their medications as prescribed instead of reducing the dosages to make the medications last longer.
Guard Against Falls
Doctors often say, half-jokingly, that the secret to a long life is simply “don’t fall.” While this advice is often offered in jest, there’s a ring of truth to it. Falling is another common reason for hospital readmissions among senior individuals. The attending physician and nurse discharge planner will tell your loved one to be careful at home so a fall doesn’t occur. Because of brittle bones, medication side effects, limited mobility, and poor vision, falls in the home are common among aging adults. A fall can result in a catastrophic hip or pelvic fracture that may require extensive surgery and loss of mobility. Recovery from hip surgery can be a long and arduous process, requiring months of physical and occupational therapy.
Edmonton in-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. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (780) 490-7337 today.