Recovering from an illness or injury leaves seniors vulnerable to having another health condition arise that could lead to a need to return to the hospital. Your role as a caregiver requires you to take steps to prevent the most common causes of hospital readmissions so your aging loved one can continue to enjoy the best possible recovery. As you get ready to bring your loved one home, be aware of these five common reasons for senior hospital readmissions so you can make plans to prevent each one.
1. Medication Mishaps
Your loved one may not be fully back to his or her normal self when returning home from the hospital. Being tired or confused combined with a new medication schedule could cause your loved one to make a mistake. Overdoses and medication mix-ups are common reasons for seniors to return to the hospital. These are fully preventable by having someone else manage your loved one’s medication until he or she is feeling better and knows the routine.
2. Fall-Related Injuries
Older adults are also at a greater risk of falling after being in the hospital. Your loved one may be unsteady until he or she gets stronger, and some medications cause dizziness. Make sure someone is around to handle things around the house and help your loved one get in and out of bed so he or she doesn’t fall and get injured.
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 Colorado Springs, 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.
3. Improper Wound Care
Infections are another diagnosis often seen in hospital readmissions, and they can easily occur in wounds that are still healing. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you know how to perform wound care procedures such as changing dressings and applying medications. Your loved one may need help caring for a wound until it’s fully healed, especially if it’s on an area of the body that isn’t easy to reach.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, including infections. When searching for reliable homecare agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more.
4. Respiratory Ailments
Seniors who are already recovering from respiratory diseases such as pneumonia are more susceptible to catching another illness. Bedbound seniors are especially vulnerable to developing lung congestion if they’re not able to move around like they normally would. You can prevent respiratory infections and complications from known conditions such as COPD by limiting visitors during the first few weeks at home. You can also ask your loved one’s medical team about how to prevent lung congestion if your loved one is confined to a bed. For example, you and another caregiver can help your loved one move in bed periodically so the lungs stay clear.
Your loved one may be depressed about the new health diagnosis or its limitations, especially if he or she is unable to go out and perform favorite activities. Certain medications may also trigger the symptoms of depression. Try to keep up your loved one’s morale by arranging for companionship care that allows him or her to stay social without having to leave the house.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Colorado Springs homecare service 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 care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (719) 822-1229.