Advantages of Reducing Hospital Readmissions for Aging Adults

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If your aging loved one has recently been discharged from the hospital, chances are high that he or she may need to be readmitted in the near future. This is especially true for seniors who have chronic or unstable health conditions. Here are some reasons it’s good to reduce hospital readmissions for seniors.

Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections

Infections aren’t uncommon, especially in elderly people who have preexisting medical conditions and suppressed immunity. Many seniors who are admitted to the hospital receive intravenous therapy, which can raise the risk for infection. If the entry site of the intravenous line isn’t meticulously cared for, bacteria can enter the bloodstream, leading to a serious systemic infection. Similarly, an indwelling catheter can also introduce bacteria into the urethra, causing a urinary tract or kidney infection. If your loved one develops an infection from being in the hospital, antibiotics may be necessary, which can lead to side effects such as allergic reactions, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The antibiotics may also decrease levels of “good” bacteria in the gut, which can diminish immune function and heighten the risk for secondary infections.

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications, including infections. When searching for reliable home care 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.

Avoid Sleep Disruption

It can be difficult for seniors to enjoy hours of uninterrupted sleep in the hospital. If your loved one is readmitted to the hospital soon after being discharged from the first admission, he or she may experience sleep deprivation. In the hospital, aging adults are often awakened by nurses performing routine vital sign checks and diagnostic tests, commotions from emergencies, noises made by housekeeping staff, and ringing telephones at the nurses’ station. High-quality sleep is essential for seniors, who may already have broken sleep patterns because of chronic pain, overactive bladders, or cognitive deficits.

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 Montgomery, AL, 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.

Prevent Separation from Family

Seniors, especially those with dementia, may develop anxiety or depression when separated from their loved ones or the familiar surroundings of home. Also, cognitively impaired aging adults may become suspicious, agitated, or fearful of new situations and be distrustful of the medical staff. Because of these behaviors, the staff may need to medicate your loved one with an anti-anxiety or other psychotropic medication, which causes serious side effects in some aging individuals.

Reduce the Risk for Decubitus Ulcers

While hospital staff understand the importance of turning and repositioning seniors every couple of hours and as needed, seniors with incontinence or poor circulation or who are dehydrated may be at a higher risk for decubitus ulcers or skin tears, despite excellent care from the nursing staff. The risk is especially great for aging individuals who have been readmitted to the hospital for major surgery or serious illness.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Montgomery home care 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 your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.

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