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5 Things to Be Aware of Regarding Hospital Discharges & Readmissions

Seniors may be admitted to the hospital and discharged multiple times over short periods. Discharge planning is often a complicated process, as it involves taking steps and following certain criteria and protocols to reduce risks for readmissions. Here are five things you should know about hospital discharge and readmission.

1. Home Discharge

If your senior loved one is unable to live alone or is still medically or cognitively unstable when the doctor writes the discharge orders, the discharge planner may need to make alternative arrangements. Instead of suggesting your parent go home, the physician may recommend that your loved one be discharged to a skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, or extended care facility. Also, participation in government financial programs may play a role in the discharge process. When elderly people are improperly discharged to their private homes and they’re still unstable, hospital readmission may be inevitable.

A professional care worker can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalisation complications and safety risks. When searching for reliable home care service agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained care workers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more.

2. Education

During the hospital discharge process, the nurse or physician will talk to your loved one about his or her new medications. The educator will go over the correct dosage, potential side effects, and interactions with other medications and advise your loved one to call the doctor if side effects or adverse reactions occur. If your loved one doesn’t retain the information or if a medication error is made at home after discharge, he or she may need to be readmitted to the hospital. It’s important that a family member or carer be present during the education session, especially if your loved one has cognitive or hearing deficits.

3. Reverse Demonstration

To further prevent hospital readmission, the nurse or doctor should ask your loved one for a reverse demonstration, which requires your loved one to demonstrate that he or she knows how to perform self-care procedures correctly and take medications properly. A reverse demonstration is especially important for seniors who are diabetic and need to know how to properly self-administer insulin injections. A reverse demonstration on proper medication administration techniques may reduce hospital readmission.

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 North Coast, NSW, 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 care worker.

4. Factors That Raise Readmission Risk

Some factors may raise the risk for hospital readmission, including severe reactions to new medications, failure to keep follow-up doctor  appointments, and premature hospital discharge. In addition, your loved one may have contracted an infection during the hospital stay that didn’t cause symptoms until after being discharged. Common hospital-acquired infections include urinary tract infections as a result of indwelling catheters, post-surgery pneumonia, and wound infections. Other factors that may raise the risk include having multiple preexisting medical conditions, taking psychotropic medications, and signing out of the hospital against medical advice.

5. Follow-Up Phone Calls

It’s thought that if the discharge planner, pharmacist, nurse, or physician calls the senior after he or she has been discharged home, hospital readmissions may be reduced. Phone calls allow seniors to ask questions and get clarity on medication questions, wound care, future medical appointments, physical and occupational therapy recommendations, and new symptoms.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading North Coast home care service provider. Families rely on our expertly trained care workers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. To learn about our high-quality in-home aged care services, give us a call at (02) 6646 3527 today.