If your elderly loved one has been in the hospital recently, there’s a good chance he or she will go back within 30 days. This is especially true for seniors with heart and lung problems or those who have had surgery on a hip or knee. Thankfully, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff members are taking steps to keep older adults from returning to the hospital after their initial stays. Reducing elderly hospital readmissions offers big advantages for older adults.
1. Reduced Costs
It’s no secret that healthcare costs are through the roof these days. Even if your loved one receives Medicare benefits or has private insurance, there are still deductibles to pay. There are also many minor hidden costs associated with hospital stays, ranging from groceries going bad in the refrigerator at home to the money family members spend on parking fees and gas as they go back and forth to visit. Staying out of the hospital saves you and your loved one money.
2. Less Chance of Infection
Beyond money, staying out of the hospital means less risk for developing even more physical health problems, especially infections. While healthcare workers typically try to keep everything clean and sterile, hospital-acquired infections are common, particularly among the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 million infections originate in American hospitals each year, and around 99,000 of those lead to death. Staying in the hospital can also lead to other health complications, particularly for older adults. For example, your loved one is more likely to fall in the hospital than at home.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, especially infections. When searching for reliable Clearwater senior home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Clearwater 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. Lower Risk of Developing Hospital-Induced Delirium
Hospital stays don’t just lead to physical health issues. Many people, particularly the elderly, develop mental health issues as well. Hospital-induced delirium is a fairly common condition, and it can take both family members and medical staff by surprise. Unfamiliar situations, inflammation from diseases, new medications, and multiple other hospital-related conditions can cause this temporary but severe form of mental impairment.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. 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.
4. Better Sleep
Another cause of both mental and physical hospital-related conditions is the general lack of sleep most people experience during a hospital stay. Not only is the senior in an unfamiliar place in an uncomfortable bed, but there are also machines beeping and lighting up all night. Throw in hourly rounds made by nurses and other staff members, and it’s no wonder most people leave the hospital feeling exhausted. Staying at home and avoiding readmission means your loved one can sleep in his or her own bed, eat food he or she enjoys, and recover in a more comfortable environment.
5. More Personalized Care
Hospitals see numerous people each day, and the staff doesn’t always know each person’s unique history. However, family members, caregivers, and personal physicians do. If your loved one is cared for by someone at home instead of a nurse who takes care of multiple people in the hospital at the same time, he or she will receive more personalized care. Treating an ailment by visiting a doctor your loved one sees regularly is much safer than being treated by a random doctor in the emergency room.
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 Clearwater, FL, 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 care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (727) 330-7862 today.