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Hospital Readmissions & Discharges: What Seniors Should Know

Even though the hospital is the best place to treat most illnesses and injuries, multiple hospital visits in a short time can be problematic, which is why older adults and their carers must make sure they fully understand the discharge process and take steps to reduce readmission. With a smooth discharge and an effective recovery plan in place, seniors can greatly reduce their risk of developing secondary health complications that send them back to the hospital. 

The Importance of Discharge Planning

Heading home from the hospital can be a stressful and confusing time for older adults and their loved ones, and it may be easy for you to forget details and instructions you receive during the discharge process. Improper discharge planning can greatly increase the risk of being readmitted to the hospital. In addition to getting instructions from your ageing loved one’s primary doctor, you should also ask a hospital representative if you can speak with a discharge planner. 

Working with a Discharge Planner

Most major hospitals have dedicated discharge planners who can make the upcoming transition much easier. The discharge planner will start off by giving you a comprehensive calendar showing all your loved one’s treatments and appointments that are scheduled for the next few weeks. He or she can also give you precise information on the medications your loved one is going to be taking home. If your loved one is being sent home with medical equipment, such as a remote monitor or an oxygen concentrator, the planner will give you instructions on how to use those devices as well.

Also make sure to ask the discharge planner about the level of care your loved one will need after returning home. 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 in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained care workers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. 

Common Causes of Hospital Readmissions

Quite a few studies have been carried out on hospital readmissions, and the research has revealed that most seniors head back to the hospital for one of three reasons. The most common cause of hospital readmissions is a complication or infection that results directly from the initial hospital stay. This risk factor is particularly common among seniors who have undergone invasive procedures. Poorly managed discharges can result in hospital readmissions as well, which is why most large hospitals now have dedicated discharge management teams. Seniors might also be readmitted to the hospital because of the chronic health conditions that put them there in the first place. 

A professional care worker can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalisation complications and safety risks, reducing the chances of readmission. When searching for reliablesenior home careagencies, 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.

Reducing Hospital Readmissions

To preserve your loved one’s health and keep him or her out of the hospital, you must follow a comprehensive discharge and recovery plan. Starting at the hospital, you should make sure the entire medical team is on the same page. If any of the doctors or nurses have concerns, you might need to extend your loved one’s hospital stay. The discharge planner is going to be very important as well, and he or she should provide you with plenty of information regarding medications, upcoming appointments, and dietary changes. The final step in this process is taking a fresh look at your loved one’s overall health. Your loved one is going to need a lot of rest, a healthy diet, and plenty of ongoing support if you want to prevent him or her from being readmitted to the hospital.

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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (02) 6646 3527.