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How to Avoid 5 Causes of Hospital Readmission in Seniors

Posted by Alyssa Ball on Aug 7, 2018 5:30:00 PM

Caregiver holding a senior woman's hand

It is common for seniors to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their stay. Seniors are especially susceptible to complications that require the attention of a physician. However, up to 75% of hospital readmissions can be avoided. Check out this list of a few main causes of hospital readmissions in seniors and how you can help prevent them.

1. Lack of Proper Care Management

When a patient leaves the hospital, there are typically specific directions that must be followed. Many seniors may not think they need to follow a physician's directions to the letter, which can sometimes result in serious consequences. It is essential for caregivers to ensure these directions and instructions are followed and that seniors fully understand the directions before leaving the hospital. If a senior or caregiver has questions or concerns, they should be addressed before leaving.

2. Mismanagement of Medication

The relationship between patient and medication is always vital, but with seniors, it can especially important. Seniors typically take more medication on a daily basis than younger adults, but the number of medications may change and even increase after leaving the hospital. Medications have different dosages, different instructions, and maybe even different schedules. Mismanaging medication can not only cause an array of complications but can quickly land a senior back in the hospital. It is important to create a medication schedule and stick to it.

3. Improper Condition Monitoring

Before leaving the hospital, both the patient and caregiver should be aware of potential negative symptoms, consequences, and side effects. Spotting changes in condition and/or behavior is key to the success of recovery. Whether it's weight, temperature, blood pressure, or general condition, seniors need to monitor their condition carefully. After surgery, for instance, a patient may experience sudden weight gain after fluid begins to build up in the body. Any changes in condition should be reported to a physician or medical team right away.

4. Lack of Proper Lifestyle Behaviors

A senior's diet is essential to their health. Seniors should follow directions and obey any dietary restrictions given to them by their physician. As a caregiver, make sure that the seniors in their care are following a proper diet. A balanced diet along with proper hydration can keep seniors' immunity strong and prevent them from being readmitted to the hospital.

5. Lackluster Follow Through

After a senior leaves the hospital, there are usually a lot of activities that they must follow through with. These activities can include follow-up visits, tests, treatments, therapies, and more. It is important for caregivers and family members to coordinate appointments and ensure the senior receives every ounce of care they need. This allows the senior's medical team to track progress, spot complications, and more.

At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one  manage their daily activities. Contact us today to learn more!

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Alyssa Ball Blog Author

Topics: Hospital, Home Care

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