Hospital readmissions can dramatically harm senior health, so the period after returning home can be crucial. Transitioning from the hospital to recovery is not always easy, but there are some steps family caregivers can take to make the process go smoother and help their loved ones avoid having to go back to the hospital.
One of the most common reasons for hospital readmissions is that patients and their families may not fully understand their condition. A recent study from The Dartmouth Institute found that some patients may not know exactly which medications to take along with not being fully aware of what’s wrong with them.
Family caregivers should make a point to do research on their loved ones’ condition so that they can assist with medication management and other aspects of recovery.
Seniors are also particularly vulnerable for hospital readmission because they are more likely to be frail or have problems getting around the house. In this case, home care providers can be a big help. Depending on how much assistance a senior needs, professional caregivers can lend a hand with meal preparation, medication management or even providing transportation to follow-up appointments.
Preventing hospital readmissions is a serious concern among many healthcare experts. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as many as one-fifth of all Medicare recipients return to the hospital within 30 days of their stay.