Despite efforts made by both hospitals and their patients, hospital readmissions among elderly still continue to be a growing problem after surgeries. While this can often be attributed to a hasty discharge process that involves complicated paperwork and confusing after-care instructions, there are still many things that seniors and their families can do at home to eliminate new injuries or infections and lower the chances of re-admittance.
Work with the Pharmacy
After surgery, seniors are often given a list of medications that are essential for pain relief and infection prevention. Families can take advantage of the services offered by the pharmacy that help prevent medication mix-ups and forgotten refills. If the pharmacy offers automated refills and delivery services, then signing up can ensure your loved one never runs out of a critical medication, and patient education services can provide valuable information regarding what to expect concerning side effects and potential drug interactions.
Arrange for In-Home Care
Rest is often prescribed after surgery, yet many injuries occur when a senior attempts to get out of bed and prepare a meal. Those who do not feel well enough to cook may also be tempted to skip meals at a time when proper nutrition is essential for healing. Arranging for your loved one to have an hourly or live-in caregiver who can help with grocery shopping, meal planning, and preparation any time of day or night can easily eliminate this common cause of hospital readmission.
Plan for Home Maintenance
Families often forget how many things may need to be done around a person’s home, and loved ones with an independent attitude may be tempted to do more than they should after surgery. Spend a few minutes making sure light bulbs are installed, arrangements have been made for the lawn, and minor housekeeping chores are planned for so that your loved one can recover in peace.
Keep Follow-Up Appointments
Leaving the hospital soon after surgery often means frequent returns to the medical facility to check on a patient’s recovery. This can often pose a problem with scheduling and transportation, yet these visits are critical for preventing infections. Create a calendar that every family member and caregiver can view along with a designation for who is responsible for transporting your loved one. If necessary, find a trusted Centennial senior care agency that can provide as-needed support for your loved one and make sure he or she never misses an important appointment.
Ensure your senior loved one has all the necessary support post-surgery to recover efficiently and avoid hospital readmission with help from Home Care Assistance of Centennial. We offer hourly and live-in care plans, as well as specialized dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care in Centennial for seniors with advanced conditions. To learn more about any of our care services or to find out how we can help your loved one during his or her recovery period, call an experienced Care Manager at (303) 957-3100.