5 Things to Know About Hospital Discharge & Readmission

5 Essential Facts About Discharges & Readmissions

By , 9:00 am on

Your senior loved one’s hospital discharge is a happy occasion that means the first phase of recovery is ending. However, your loved one likely still has a long way to go before you can consider him or her safe from the possibility of having a setback. Hospitals today are discharging people sooner than ever before, which means families must be active in the recovery process. These five facts about hospital discharge and readmissions can help you understand the importance of providing your loved one with continued care once he or she returns home.

1. A Single Readmission Leads to Longer Recovery Times

The most common issues that lead to readmissions also generate setbacks in recovery. For instance, a person who sustains a fall-related injury must now direct his or her body’s resources to healing from the new health condition along with what led to the initial hospitalization. Seniors in hospitals are also exposed to pathogens that can make them ill.

2. Seniors Have the Highest Readmission Rates

Recent studies by various hospitals and the Medicare program show that seniors tend to have the highest readmission rates. This is likely due to multiple factors, such as their advanced age and higher risk of having chronic health conditions. Seniors who live alone or have limited sources of help are even more vulnerable to readmission.

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and safety risks, reducing the chances of readmission. 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.

3. Preventable Injuries & Illnesses Are the Primary Causes

The majority of hospital readmission statistics are fairly negative. However, you can be encouraged by the fact that the primary causes of readmissions are mostly preventable. If you take proper actions, your loved one is less likely to develop a secondary infection because he or she forgot to take antibiotics and will have a reduced risk of going back to the hospital because he or she fell.

4. Education Is Critical for Reducing Readmission Rates

Readmission rates have gone down slightly over the past few years, and it’s believed this is due to a greater focus on education. Families need to know what to expect when their senior loved ones go home so they can prepare. The time to find out about your loved one’s limitations is before he or she returns home. Make sure the hospital staff gives you a realistic picture of the types of help your loved one will need. You can also ask them to repeat instructions and give you printed handouts. If you must, take notes so you have a reference for how to follow every discharge instruction when you get home.

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 Centennial, CO, 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. A Safe Home Environment Prevents Readmission

The single most important thing you can do to reduce your loved one’s risk for readmission is to arrange for help at home after discharge. Your loved one needs time to let his or her body heal and may require a caregiver nearby to make sure he or she doesn’t do things that put his or her health at risk.

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 Centennial homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (303) 957-3100 to learn more about our customized care plans.