Discharges & Readmissions: The Specifics

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If your senior loved one has a chronic or debilitating illness, chances are he or she will be discharged from and readmitted to the hospital multiple times. Reasons for discharge and readmission are multifactorial and may be related to the illness or hospital issues. Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial that seniors avoid being discharged from the hospital too soon.

Reasons for Early Discharge

If the hospital your loved one has been admitted to is overcrowded, he or she may be at risk for a premature discharge, which sometimes happens so new people can be admitted. Early discharge may be the result of staffing problems at the hospital. For example, if there aren’t enough nurses employed at the hospital to take care of everyone, some seniors may have to be discharged prematurely, either to go home or relocate to another facility. Hospital readmission may be inevitable if a senior is discharged too soon.

After your loved one leaves the hospital, he or she may need quite a bit of support while recovering. 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 Montgomery homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Preventing Premature Discharge

If you’re worried your loved one may be discharged from the hospital too early, talk to the physician, especially if your loved one is still experiencing pain or other symptoms. If the doctor is adamant about discharging your loved one despite your concerns, talk to the hospital administrator or medical director. After further investigation, those in charge may agree with you and keep your loved one in the hospital until it’s safe to discharge him or her.

A professional caregiver can be a valuable source of support after your loved one returns home. 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.

Physician Responsibility

If your loved one has been discharged from the hospital prematurely and his or her health has worsened as a result, the physician may be held responsible. For example, if your loved one was admitted with symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, and left arm pain and was not medically “worked up,” the doctor may have been negligent, especially if your loved one had a heart attack or stroke soon after discharge. It’s essential that the doctor order the necessary diagnostic tests during the first hospital admission so minor problems can be recognized and treated before they progress to catastrophic illnesses.

Infection as a Common Cause of Readmission

While they’re in the hospital, seniors sometimes acquire infections, such as gastrointestinal bacterial infections, urinary tract infections, wound infections, and pneumonia. Infections may be acquired on the day of discharge, but symptoms may not appear until after the senior has gone home. Your loved one may have gotten very sick at home and needed to be readmitted to the hospital. Readmission to the hospital because of an infection often requires intravenous antibiotic therapy. If your loved one develops a fever, productive cough, rash, diarrhea, or blood in the urine, he or she may have an infection as a result of being discharged too soon.

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and safety risks, reducing the chances of readmission. When searching for reliable home care service 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. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (334) 593-3988 today.

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