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Rehospitalization Risk Factors & Aging Adults

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Statistics suggest that up to one third of elderly people reenter the hospital after an initial stay. Many are readmitted within 30 days of discharge. There are many risk factors that contribute to the problem. However, family members have the ability to greatly reduce the chance of readmission by learning the underlying reasons and intervening on their senior loved ones’ behalf. Here are some of the most common risk factors for readmission to the hospital.

Early Discharge

Up to 20 percent of seniors are discharged from the hospital too early. Make sure the physician provides a thorough evaluation before allowing your loved one to leave the facility. Pay particular attention to your loved one’s vital signs. An elevated temperature often indicates an infection. Blood pressure and pulse readings that are too high make your loved one susceptible to a heart attack or stroke. An increased respiratory rate may also indicate an infection. Any abnormal vital sign increases the likelihood your loved one will soon return to the hospital for further treatment.

A professional caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable senior 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.

Lack of Education Comprehension

Seniors must understand their medical conditions along with the medication, treatments, and other recommendations necessary for their recovery. Oftentimes, older adults don’t absorb all the information provided by members of their healthcare teams. As such, it’s important for you to be present and kept aware at all times. This way, you can provide reminders if needed and guide your loved one to better health.

Medication Mishaps

Discharge instructions often include prescriptions for new medications. Seniors must have the prescriptions filled and take the medications as recommended. However, pharmacists must ensure your loved one’s medications don’t interact. You must also be aware of potential side effects to watch for in your loved one.

Failure to Receive Follow-Up Care

Seniors are often reluctant to make and attend follow-up appointments. However, visiting the physician is the only way to ensure recovery is progressing as planned. You may need to make appointments for your loved one yourself. Attending doctor visits together also ensures two pairs of ears receive vital information and instructions.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Oshkosh 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.

Ignored Symptoms

Older adults who have undergone surgery may develop infections at their surgical sites. If not properly treated, the infections can become systemic and have the potential to be life-threatening. Seniors might also overlook medication side effects under the mistaken belief they’ll naturally subside. Perhaps your parent is in pain but doesn’t want to admit the problem. However, if you continually monitor your parent during recovery, you’re more likely to detect possible complications that may then be brought to the attention of a physician.

Malnutrition

Once seniors return home from the hospital, they’re weakened and fatigued, so they’re less likely to have the strength to prepare healthy meals. Unless they get proper nutrition, seniors won’t adequately recover and be able to maintain optimal health.

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 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. If your loved one needs professional in-home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (920) 710-2273 today.