Hospital administrators make every effort to reduce hospital readmissions. While policies and procedures are in place to lower the rates of readmissions, they cannot prevent everyone from being readmitted. Here are some ways discharge education can lower your senior loved one’s risk of hospital readmission.
1. Mechanical Diet Education
If your loved one was initially hospitalized for a stroke or Parkinson’s disease, he or she may have chewing or swallowing problems related to neurological damage. The nurse educator will discuss the importance of a mechanical soft diet, such as one consisting of pureed foods, so your loved one doesn’t choke. The hospital dietician may also stop by your loved one’s room before discharge to talk about which foods should be consumed and at what consistencies.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for a senior who is recovering after being hospitalized. 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.
2. Cast Care Education
When aging adults are discharged with casts, they may be at risk for accidents, falls, infections, and slow healing. Casts on arms and legs can impair balance, and if your loved one isn’t taught the essentials of proper body mechanics and balance, he or she may fall. Similarly, if your loved one gets the cast wet while bathing or doesn’t recognize the signs of circulation problems or infection, he or she may be back in the hospital soon after discharge.
3. Drug Interaction Education
Taking certain prescription drugs with dietary supplements can cause dangerous interactions that may result in hospital readmission. The discharge nurse will talk to your loved one about the dangers of taking prescription anticoagulants with dietary supplements such as garlic and fish oil. Taking anticoagulant medications with these and certain other supplements may result in life-threatening abnormal bleeding. Many aging adults aren’t aware of drug and dietary supplement interactions and frequently take them together.
4. Family Caregiver Education
If your loved one is unable to care for him or herself because of cognitive problems, mobility deficits, decreased vision, or serious illness, you’ll need to attend the discharge planning session. Caregiver education prior to hospital discharge is essential. You may need to change your loved one’s surgical dressings or assist with insulin injections, and if these are done improperly, he or she may develop serious complications requiring readmission to the hospital.
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 Oshkosh, WI, 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.
5. Blood Sugar Education
Hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic reactions are common causes for hospital readmissions. Discharge education regarding unstable blood sugar levels and diabetes can help your loved one become familiar with the signs of both high and low blood sugar levels so he or she can take quick action. The discharge planner will teach your loved one how to treat abnormal blood sugar levels at home. Your loved one will also be advised to call the physician at the first sign of a blood sugar reaction.
Oshkosh 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (920) 573-6295 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.