Effective Methods for Lowering Readmission Risk

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Aftercare is often the most crucial part of the recovery process for older adults. This is the time when the body continues to heal and most functions are restored. Failing to receive adequate care could increase the risk of hospital readmissions. Below you’ll find some of the best practices for reducing hospital readmissions.

Ask Questions

Most hospital readmissions can be avoided by merely asking your parent’s medical providers questions before he or she is discharged. If your loved one has had a complicated surgery, try to learn as much as possible about aftercare so you can develop a plan that prevents errors. The only wrong questions are those you don’t ask. Your loved one’s mental, physical, and emotional health are the top priority, so you should never be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t agree with a procedure or treatment, speak up. The doctors, nurses, and staff should be honest and informative at all times.

Develop a Shared Schedule

If only one person takes on the caregiver role without any assistance, it can increase the risk of burnout and prevent your loved one from receiving high-quality care. Your family should divide the caregiving tasks before your loved one is released from the hospital and develop a schedule that works for everyone. Sharing the duties can make it easier for your family and reduce your parent’s risk of hospital readmission. You’ll likely need to provide constant care to your parent during the first 30 to 90 days after he or she is released. As time goes by, you may need to reduce or increase the hours you spend with your loved one, based on his or her care needs.

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Maintain a Safe Environment

Your parent’s home is where he or she will spend the majority of time after being released from the hospital, so the environment should be safe and secure. For example, pathways should always be clear to prevent falls that could lead to broken bones, infections, and other injuries and illnesses that could cause your loved one to be readmitted to the hospital. A safe environment should be free of hazards and dangerous objects that could cause bodily harm. Before your parent is released from the hospital, speak with his or her doctor to determine any home improvements your family may need to make.

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Promote Physical Activity

Living a sedentary lifestyle following discharge can increase the risk of hospital readmission for an older adult. Heart issues are the top risk factors associated with readmissions, and living an inactive lifestyle could lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular problems. Keep your loved one physically active, based on the doctor’s recommendations. For instance, if your loved one is recovering from a stroke, you’ll need to find activities that exercise the mind and body. Start small and increase the exercises and projects as your loved one’s cognitive and physical abilities are restored.

Prescott elder 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. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 928-771-0105 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.