According to a recent study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, just over 15 percent of all hospital readmissions are completely preventable. By avoiding recurrent hospital visits, seniors can limit their exposure to dangerous germs and reduce the risk of medical errors. Here’s a quick look at five of the most common reasons for 30-day readmissions to the hospital and a few steps you can take to avoid those issues.
1. No Discharge Plan
While most major hospitals have dedicated discharge teams, some seniors aren’t able to meet with those specialists. When seniors leave the hospital without comprehensive discharge plans, there’s a very good chance they might skip appointments or fail to pick up prescriptions, which could lead to serious health problems. If your aging loved one is getting ready to leave the hospital, ask the nurse or doctor if you can speak with a member of the discharge team.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Boca Raton home care service 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.
2. Medication Mishaps
Medication mishaps are frighteningly common among the elderly, and these mistakes can result in life-threatening medical issues. Before leaving the hospital, you and your loved one should sit down with the doctor, who can explain all the medications that are going to be prescribed. In addition to getting information on doses, you also need to ask about potential side effects. This information must be written down and kept with you at all times. You should also make multiple copies of the medication list and give them to anyone who will be looking after your loved one.
3. Lung Infections
When seniors are in the hospital for a long time, they can be exposed to germs. The immune system should be able to fight off most of those germs, but there may come a time when the body can no longer withstand the bombardment. Hospital-acquired pneumonia is one of the most common lung infections among discharged individuals, and you should notice the symptoms of that condition almost immediately. To reduce your loved one’s risk of a lung infection, make sure he or she engages in proper hygiene and sanitation practices.
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4. Cardiovascular Disorders
Even if your loved one wasn’t in the hospital for a heart problem, his or her cardiovascular system could be compromised during treatment. A lack of physical activity, exposure to germs, and high stress levels can also increase the risk of developing a heart complication following a stay in the hospital. Staying active, following a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest and support can reduce the risk of issues such as heart failure.
5. Noncompliance with Medical Instructions
Also known as nonadherence, noncompliance is one of the most common causes of 30-day hospital readmissions. Seniors are classified as noncompliant when they ignore the instructions given to them by their medical teams. They might throw their medication away, try alternative treatments, or skip their follow-up appointments. One of the best ways to combat noncompliance is to make sure your loved one understands the potential risks of ignoring these instructions.
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 Boca Raton, FL, 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (561) 826.9282 today.