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Essential Information About Hospital Stays: Discharges & Readmissions

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The discharge process can vary among hospitals. However, the majority of medical facilities follow straightforward lists of procedures that must occur before seniors go home. Depending on your senior loved one’s reason for being hospitalized, you may need to meet with a team of doctors or arrange for therapeutic services before your loved one is discharged. While this day is exciting, it’s also a little worrisome. Rising hospital readmission rates suggest you could potentially be forced to bring your loved one right back to where he or she was before returning home. Learning as much as you can about current hospital discharge and readmission issues allows you to do what you can to keep your loved one at home.

Seniors Have the Highest Readmission Rates

For most people, it doesn’t come as a surprise that seniors over the age of 65 tend to have the highest rates of readmissions. This is mostly due to the fact that many seniors already have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, that can complicate recovery. Seniors may also be at a higher risk for readmission if they live alone or have failed to maintain their health in the past. While you can’t do anything about your loved one’s age as a risk factor, you can help with taking care of his or her overall health throughout recovery.

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 Winnipeg, MB, 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.

Most Readmissions Have Preventable Causes

The current top causes for hospital readmissions include health conditions such as pneumonia and septicemia. These infections are preventable through proper germ control within the hospital facility and at your loved one’s home. Cardiovascular and respiratory issues are additional causes for readmissions that can be prevented. For instance, your loved one may need someone to help him or her remember to take heart medication, or he or she may need to have a caregiver lift the head of the bed to prevent fluid from draining into the lungs.

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 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.

Hospitals Are Actively Trying to Reduce Rates

As disturbing as the readmission rates are, you should also know medical facilities don’t like to see people coming back through their doors. Readmission increases the rate of hospital-acquired infections, and some governments are starting to penalize hospitals with high readmission rates. Before your loved one is allowed to be discharged, you should expect the medical team to provide you with a list of instructions that detail how to continue your loved one’s care at home. You may also be asked to rephrase the information to clarify that it’s understood.

Families Can Do Their Part to Help

Making sure your loved one follows every part of the aftercare plan is essential for his or her continued wellbeing. When you’re discussing the plan, try to identify potential challenges that can be fixed before they lead to serious health issues. Make sure your loved one has help at home with tending to basic needs so he or she is less likely to develop a new health issue or experience a setback that sends him or her back to the hospital.

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 Winnipeg elder care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. If you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (204) 489 6000.