Hospital readmission is a major problem, so much so that the government penalizes hospitals with a higher rate of return. Nearly 20 percent of seniors are discharged, only to undergo hospital readmission 30 days later. There are several reasons why this happens, and just as many reasons why in-home senior care can help reduce the number of senior being readmitted to hospitals after discharge. Here are a few of them:
Properly following medical instructions
Many seniors experience hospital readmission because they have a difficult time following prescribed medical schedules. When you consider that, on average, seniors with chronic conditions prescribe to 50 prescriptions a year, it’s easy to understand how an in-home care provider would be beneficial. Caregivers can remind seniors to take their medication, and keep track of what prescriptions have and have not been filled.
Following up with primary care physicians
Along with failing to follow medication recommendations, seniors may also have a difficult time keeping appointments with their physicians. This could be due to forgetfulness, as well as a lack of transportation or other factors. Two-thirds of seniors who return after discharge could have avoided hospital readmission had they visited their doctor within two weeks for a follow-up. In-home senior caregivers can not only remind their patients to go to the doctor, but also transport them.
Not having a discharge plan
Having a discharge plan is critical to avoid hospital readmission. Again, this can occasionally be difficult for seniors to follow, especially if they’re still feeling ill. If an in-home caregiver is given the plan by a doctor when the patient is discharged, he or she can assist the patient in following it. Additionally, in-home caregivers can notify family members if there is a change in the plan, and make it easier for the senior to focus on recovery instead of worrying about following a regimen.
In order to reduce the possibility of hospital readmission, it’s a good idea to have someone keep an eye on your elderly loved ones. But if you’re unavailable to be there all the time, Assisting Hands Home Care can make sure your loved one—young or old—is taken care of and following all the necessary medical precautions to avoid hospital readmission after discharge. All in all, an in-home care provider can be an extra pair of hands and more when it comes to assisting seniors avoid hospital readmission.