Early hospital readmissions can be costly and frustrating. Older adults are particularly susceptible to being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. It might be surprising to learn that readmission is often due to causes other than the reason for the initial hospital stay. Consider these common factors that cause hospital readmissions.
Multiple Medical Issues (Comorbidity)
In healthcare, the term “comorbidity” is often used when an individual has multiple medical conditions, such as when a senior with a heart condition also has diabetes. When seniors experience early readmission, it’s often due to comorbidity. For example, after surgery, a diabetic senior’s body may experience stress that can result in elevated blood sugar. If blood sugar becomes too high to control at home, the senior might be readmitted to the hospital.
A professional caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable in-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.
Failure to Follow Up
Within a week or two after discharge, seniors who have had major surgery or serious illnesses are usually instructed to see their healthcare providers for follow-up visits. However, this doesn’t always happen. Barriers to receiving follow-up care include lack of transportation and forgetting appointments. In some cases, a doctor may recommend participating in cardiac rehabilitation, nutrition classes, physical therapy, and similar therapeutic activities. Failing to follow through with these recommendations could mean not making the progress needed for a complete recovery. Seniors who don’t have the support of family members or caregivers to ensure they keep appointments are more likely to experience setbacks that require readmission.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Fair Oaks senior 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.
Not Taking Medications as Prescribed
Failing to take medications as prescribed can land seniors back in the hospital. For example, a newly diagnosed diabetic may be admitted to a hospital to get his or her blood sugar under control. Once the blood sugar stabilizes, he or she may be discharged and prescribed insulin or oral medications. However, if the medications aren’t taken as directed, the result could be hospital readmission.
Some factors that contribute to falling include difficulty standing or walking, dizziness, and difficulty getting from a wheelchair to a bed. Throw rugs, cords, clutter, and slippery surfaces are all falling hazards. Being overmedicated can also contribute to falls. It’s not unusual for an older adult to break a hip during a fall. Fractures and broken limbs often require readmission to the hospital and extensive physical therapy after discharge.
Limited Health Literacy
Health literacy is the ability to obtain, understand, and use health information. Seniors with limited health literacy may not fully understand discharge instructions, and they may have difficulty reading and understanding medication labels. It’s very difficult for people to practice what they don’t comprehend. Individuals with low health literacy are sometimes ashamed to admit they don’t understand information, which puts them at risk for conditions that lead to readmission.
Many aging adults need assistance when they return home after being hospitalized. 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 Fair Oaks, CA, 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (916) 485-4663 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.