7 Main Causes of Elderly Hospital Readmissions

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Seniors are readmitted to the hospital every day for reasons that are completely preventable. Although you might not be able to keep your aging loved one from catching a cold, there are a lot of things you can do to stop him or her from getting hurt or seriously ill after returning home. These seven reasons for senior hospital readmissions should always be at the forefront of your mind so you can take preventative action.

1. Fall-Related Injuries

Seniors who fall during their recovery face serious potential setbacks. Not only can they reinjure healing surgical sites, but they can also get new injuries that add to the stress on their bodies’ immune systems. Fall-related injuries usually happen when seniors try to do too much on their own. Having a caregiver stay with your loved one reduces this risk.

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2. Emotional Health Disorders

Being sick or hurt is depressing, and seniors who live alone may not have enough emotional support to overcome negative feelings. Seniors who take certain medications may also be more prone to feeling sad or anxious. Having companionship can often prevent aging adults from needing to return to the hospital due to a serious emotional health condition.

3. Medication Mishaps

When a new diagnosis is combined with new prescriptions, seniors can get extremely confused about when and how to take their medications. Your loved one may overdose on a medication if he or she doesn’t remember taking a dose just a few minutes before. He or she may mix up pills that look similar or completely forget to take the proper medication. Establish a go-to person who monitors your loved one’s medication schedule every day.

4. Infected Wounds

Wound care is an issue that arises after surgery. Your loved one’s wound is at risk for infection if he or she is unable to bathe properly. Skipping baths allows dirt to build up on the skin, yet getting certain wounds wet can lead to bacterial or fungal overgrowth. Assist your loved one with bathing when he or she first gets home from the hospital to help wounds heal properly.

Many aging adults need assistance when they return home after being hospitalized. 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 Westport, CT, 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.

5. Heart Attacks

Seniors may have cardiovascular issues after they get home, which can be caused by an underlying disease that’s exacerbated by the new health condition. Help your loved one plan a heart-healthy diet and remember to take medication that keeps his or her cardiovascular system working well.

6. Malnutrition

If you’ve ever felt like skipping a meal because you were sick, you can understand how this can happen for seniors. Your loved one may not have the energy to cook a proper meal. Alternatively, your parent could be so afraid of falling that he or she doesn’t want to stand at the stove. Arrange for someone to cook for your loved one at first so you know he or she gets good nutrition throughout the day.

7. Respiratory Distress

Your loved one may develop respiratory ailments after returning home. Pneumonia is a common reason for seniors to return to the hospital, and this is a risk for any older adult who is confined to a bed. Have someone periodically move your loved one into positions that prevent fluid buildup in the lungs.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Westport 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. If you need professional home care for your parent, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at 203-955-1915.