Hospital readmissions are more likely to occur for elderly people due to their vulnerability to infections and post-discharge injuries. These readmissions can affect seniors’ budgets while also causing them to be exposed to more germs. Seniors who are forced to return to the hospital can also have diminished morale and may begin to give up on their treatment. These five strategies can help seniors avoid having to go back to the hospital so they can recover in comfort at home.
1. Get the Aftercare Instructions in Writing
The last day at a hospital is typically a blur. Your senior loved one will likely be seen by several physicians and specialists, each of whom may have his or her own set of instructions to give. By the time the day is through, you may no longer remember what must be done to prevent an infection at a wound site or how often your loved one needs to take medication. By asking for all the aftercare instructions in writing, you can make sure you have a resource to turn to when you’re unsure of what to do. Other caregivers who weren’t there at discharge can also use this information to plan their care strategies.
2. Create a Plan for Medications
Medication mishaps are a common reason for seniors to be readmitted to the hospital. Your loved one may forget to take important medication or accidentally double up on a dose if he or she is still experiencing confusion and fatigue. Create a medication schedule that includes at least one other person checking the log to make sure the medication is taken correctly.
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.
3. Remove Fall Hazards from the Home
For the first few weeks after returning home, your loved one may feel dizzy and tired and experience weakness in the limbs, which is common with many different conditions that require hospitalization as well as medication side effects. Fall-related injuries are another common reason seniors wind up back in the hospital. Help your loved one avoid this by making clear paths through the home and placing necessary items within his or her reach.
4. Attend Follow-Up Appointments
Most people must return to their physicians’ offices for follow-up appointments after they’ve been hospitalized. During these appointments, doctors check for things such as signs of an infection that can be treated before it leads to readmission. However, your loved one may be tempted to skip appointments if he or she has driving restrictions. Delegate transportation services to a specific professional caregiver so your loved one always has a way to get to follow-up appointments safely.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to doctor appointments. When searching for reliable home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones 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.
5. Arrange for a Caregiver to Stay Nearby
During your loved one’s recovery, several things could happen that place him or her at risk for readmission. Make sure a caregiver stays with your loved one to help with things such as getting out of bed and making meals. Caregivers can also watch for sudden changes in your loved one’s health that indicate there may need to be changes in the current aftercare plan to help him or her enjoy a better recovery.
Clearwater at-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. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.