Most seniors are happy to avoid hospital readmissions as much as possible. However, when aging adults with complicated medical conditions are discharged from the hospital, they often get readmitted soon after. Here are some strategies for lowering your aging loved one’s risk for hospital readmissions.
1. Attend Follow-Up Appointments
Seniors who keep follow-up appointments with their doctors soon after discharge may be less likely to be readmitted to the hospital. Similarly, those who take follow-up phone calls from the hospital’s nursing staff or pharmacist are also less likely to be readmitted. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure are high-risk diseases, so if your loved one has one of those conditions, be especially vigilant about scheduling a follow-up medical appointment within a week of discharge to reduce hospital readmission risk.
A professional caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one 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.
2. Monitor for Diabetes Complications
If your loved one has diabetes, properly testing his or her blood sugar levels throughout the day can prevent hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, both of which can warrant hospital readmissions.
3. Hire a Home Caregiver
If your loved one has a complex medical condition or is cognitively impaired, hiring a home caregiver to provide direct care and emotional support can help your loved one avoid another trip to the hospital. Depending on your loved one’s needs and financial situation, home caregivers can work around the clock or come and go on an as-needed basis.
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 Amarillo, TX, 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.
4. Monitor Weight
If your loved one has congestive heart failure, carefully monitor his or her weight after hospital discharge. Weight gain can indicate fluid retention and a worsening of heart failure. Weigh your loved one every day at the same time. In addition, assess his or her face, abdomen, hands, and ankles for edema, or swelling of the soft tissues. Congestive heart failure reduces the heart’s ability to effectively pump blood throughout the body. As a result, the blood may back up in the extremities and other parts of the body. In addition to weight gain and edema, monitor your loved one for signs of anxiety, which may be related to fluid buildup or shortness of breath.
If your loved one has gained weight, has edema, is anxious, or has difficulty breathing, make a doctor’s appointment. When congestive heart failure complications are promptly identified and treated, seniors are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital.
5. Discourage Negative Lifestyle Habits
Cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake have negative effects on just about every system in the body. Pulmonary, cardiovascular, renal, or liver disease, smoking and excessive drinking may worsen the condition and require a hospital readmission. If your loved one is unable to quit smoking or drinking independently, his or her physician may recommend effective cessation treatment options, such as prescription medications, transdermal patches, and nicotine replacement chewing gum.
Amarillo in-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. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (806) 803-9991 today.