Ways a Senior Can Reduce the Risk of a Return Trip to the Hospital

Hospital readmissions are a real concern, or they should be. Unfortunately, when somebody has been hospitalized and spent several days or weeks in the hospital, they want to get out as quickly as possible and never look back. If they arrange for in-home care services they can make the transition easier.

The problem is that approximately 16 percent of patients discharged from the hospital will end up right back there within 30 days. That technically counts as a ‘hospital readmission,’ according to the federal government.

In many of those cases, hospital readmission occurs because the individual doesn’t follow their doctor’s advice, they don’t take their prescription medications properly, or some other complication arises out of neglect, too much confidence in their healing, or some other factor.

For an aging senior, the risk of hospital readmission can be real, and here are some ways that an aging person can help reduce the risk of a return trip to the hospital.

First, they should understand the instructions their doctor gives them.

In-Home Care Fair Lawn NJ - Ways a Senior Can Reduce the Risk of a Return Trip to the Hospital

In-Home Care Fair Lawn NJ – Ways a Senior Can Reduce the Risk of a Return Trip to the Hospital

However, when lying in a hospital bed for days or even weeks and, the moment you begin seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, thinking about getting out and returning home, you may not be paying close attention to the doctor.

If the seniors do not listen when their doctor gives them instructions, or if they take the packet of papers with all those instructions on it, set it aside, and never look at it, that’s going to increase the risk of complications or readmission.

They should be encouraged to take some time, slow down, and pay attention. They should also be encouraged to ask questions if there’s something they simply don’t understand at that time.

Second, they should get the right type of in-home care support.

An in-home care agency can provide the right experienced support for that senior when they return home. Yes, a spouse or other family members and friends might be more than willing and capable of helping, but nothing beats experience, especially when you’re talking about something as important as recovery following a hospitalization.

They should be encouraged to reach out (or have a close family member or friend reach out) to a local in-home care agency and have support available when it will be most needed.

Third, they should avoid ‘overdoing’ things.

For example, if an aging senior is hospitalized due to pneumonia, they need to rest when they return home. However, many people recovering from pneumonia tend to feel much better after a few days on antibiotics and other medications.

That doesn’t mean the virus or bacteria has left the body, though. Feeling better doesn’t mean they have fully recovered from pneumonia.

The same can be true for other health issues, including surgery, injuries, heart attacks, stroke, aneurysms, gastrointestinal emergencies, and so much more. Just because a senior may be feeling better doesn’t mean they can throw caution to the wind and get right back into their normal routine.

Their doctor will give them advice and recommendations on how much rest they should be getting, and they should pay attention to that and not overdo it.

If you or a senior family member are considering hiring In-Home Care Services in Fair Lawn NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today at (973) 427-3553.

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Pamela DelColle, RN, CCRN