In recent years, it’s begun to seem as if hospitals have revolving doors for older adults, who often experience complications after they leave. While it’s true that older adults are vulnerable members of the population in terms of health, it’s also true that many of these readmissions are preventable. With the growing awareness of the need to stop the constant flow of seniors back into the hospital, it helps to understand exactly what happens at hospital discharge that can influence whether an older adult ends up being readmitted.
Why Seniors Are More Likely to Be Readmitted
Many seniors have health conditions that complicate their recovery. For instance, older adults with COPD will naturally have a difficult time healing after having pneumonia. Seniors are also more likely to fall after going home due to the combination of limited mobility and new medications. Some ageing adults may also be unable to fully understand their doctors’ discharge instructions, which is why it’s important to make sure other people are with them as they’re being discharged to receive the directions for follow-up care.
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 Newcastle, NSW, 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 care worker.
The Negative Impact of Readmission on a Senior’s Recovery
The repercussions of going back to the hospital are more serious than mere inconvenience. Seniors are exposed to an assortment of germs when they go back, which can cause them to contract new infections. They may also become depressed in the disruptive environment of the hospital. They may not eat or sleep as well as they do at home, and it’s common for seniors to lose weight or strength due to the conditions they experience in the hospital.
What Medical Professionals Are Doing to Reduce Readmissions
Doctors and hospital social workers are aware of the risks seniors face when they’re readmitted, and healthcare facilities are working hard to bring readmission levels down. Many facilities are even publishing their readmission rates so they have even more motivation to reduce them. One thing medical professionals are focusing on is communication with families during the discharge process. They typically ask family members to repeat the instructions back to them so they can check for understanding, and they may also inquire about what type of home environments seniors are returning to. They aren’t doing this to be nosy. Instead, they know seniors with high-quality support at home are less likely to come back through the hospital doors.
There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Newcastle elder care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained care workers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Things Families Can Do to Help
Families play a huge role in how well seniors recover. You can start by appointing someone to be there with your loved one throughout the entire discharge process. You can also do things such as set up a medication schedule. Seniors should also have someone available to watch after them until they’re fully healed, and hiring a care worker is an outstanding option that gives older adults the kind of one-on-one care that can prevent readmission.
Professional care workers can monitor seniors for post-hospitalisation complications and safety risks, reducing the chances of readmission. When searching for reliable in-home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained care workers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (02) 4089 3000 to learn more about our high-quality aged care services.