The first 72 hours after a senior is discharged from the hospital are critical in recovering from an illness or recent surgery. Although hospitals go to great lengths to ensure seniors have the best chance to recover fully, statistics from Medicare reveal that nearly one in five seniors are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge.
Numerous studies have also shown that the quality of care a senior receives once they arrive home largely determines their chances of readmission.
If you’re acting as a family caregiver, it can be stressful to do everything needed to keep your loved one at home after a hospital stay. Based on over 26 years of experience helping families with senior family members throughout Virginia, AmeriCare Plus is happy to help with our home care services.
In addition, here are six ways to prevent hospital readmissions.
6 Ways to Prevent Hospital Readmissions
1. Follow doctor’s orders
Doctor’s orders often mean a new routine for a senior: taking new meds at a new time, dietary changes, and changes in the number of hours they sleep are just a few examples of changes in lifestyle that need to be made. Be sure that your loved one follows through with their medical team’s instructions after they get home.
2. Provide daily assistance
Upon returning home from the hospital, seniors are often in a physically weakened state and need help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and other daily activities. Though it can be awkward or uncomfortable for you and them at first, reassure them you’re happy to help and give them as much privacy as possible.
3. Give medication reminders
Seniors often come home from the hospital with new meds that must be taken at different times. Help your loved one establish a new routine by writing out reminders for them about when they need to take their meds. Pill organizers are also handy ways to keep meds organized and serve as a helpful reminder.
4. Help prevent falls
Falling is one of the primary reasons for readmittance for seniors. They’re often unsteady and fall while trying to maintain their independence. Make sure furniture (like footstools) is moved away from where they walk, tape down or remove slippery throw rugs, and install hand-rails in the bathroom and along the stairs.
5. Prepare healthy meals
A nutritious diet is essential for a healthy recovery. Be sure to prepare meals that follow any dietary restrictions your loved one may have been given by their doctor.
6. Remind them to make it to all follow-up appointments
Seniors can become more forgetful after surgery or hospitalization. Remind your loved one when their upcoming medical appointments are and go with them if possible. They may need help understanding and remembering the doctor’s instructions; being there will help you know what their continuing care requirements are.
AmeriCare Plus Post-Operative Care for Your Loved One
No matter how much you want to be there with your loved one throughout the recovery process at home, it simply may not be an option for you. That’s where AmeriCare Plus steps in.
One of our specialties is post-operative care. We’ll create a customized and personalized care plan to help you and your loved one through all of the challenges and stresses of post-operative recovery.
Call us today or get started here to schedule a free in-home visit. We’d love to learn what your needs are and let you know how one of our affordable, dependable, and compassionate caregivers can assist your family and help avoid hospital readmission.