Top 5 Risk Factors for Elderly Hospital Readmissions

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Statistics indicate up to 30 percent of older adults are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after their initial discharge. The likelihood of having to return to the hospital increases for those over the age of 75. There are a number of ways family members can reduce the chance of an elderly parent being readmitted. Here are some of the top risk factors for hospital readmissions among aging adults. 


1. Early Release

A study performed by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center revealed 20 percent of people in the hospital are discharged too early. Before discharge, medical staff will take your loved one’s vital signs and check if he or she is running a temperature, which indicates the presence of infection. Your loved one’s blood pressure or heart rate might be too high or too low, or he or she might be having breathing problems that cause an elevated or reduced respiration rate and irregular oxygen stats. Any abnormalities should be addressed by a physician before your loved one is allowed to leave. 

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, including infections. When searching for reliable at-home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones will be well taken care of. At Assisting Hands Home Care Reston, 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.


2. Discharge Instruction Confusion

Having a family member present at the time of discharge provides a second set of ears and eyes to receive the discharge instructions. This way, you can help your parent comprehend the physician’s directives. Your family will also be informed as to what’s expected of your loved one once he or she returns home. Families should ensure they receive copies of the discharge instructions. 


3. Failure to Acquire Prescription Medications

Once home from the hospital, your loved one may be too weak or tired to get the medications recommended by the physician. You can alleviate the burden by getting the prescriptions for your loved one, as he or she might not bother acquiring the drugs because of budget concerns. Make sure your parent takes the medications as directed at the appropriate times. 


4. A Weakened State

Seniors often get easily fatigued after they’re discharged from the hospital. As such, they may not be able to take the time to prepare healthy meals, or they might forego household chores or personal hygiene needs. Being weak leaves your loved one more susceptible to falls and other types of home accidents. Consider staying with your parent until he or she regains strength, or have your parent stay with you in your home. 

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 Reston, VA, 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.


5. Not Attending Follow-Up Appointments

Statistics reveal the majority of elderly people discharged from hospitals fail to make and attend follow-up appointments with their healthcare providers. These appointments are necessary for physicians to determine the progress of recovery. Any problems may also be addressed and corrected at that time. Consider making a follow-up appointment for your loved one, and also attend the visit to ensure any concerns are brought to the forefront and treated. 

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Reston home care 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. Rely on the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (703) 556-8983 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.