Most Common Risk Factors for Hospital Readmissions Among Seniors

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Readmission to the hospital can be costly and dangerous, especially for older adults. Family caregivers need to learn more about what causes readmissions and develop ways to prevent this issue. Here are some common risk factors associated with hospital readmissions in seniors.

Insurance Problems

Some insurance providers cover at-home care as well as medical devices that are crucial to the recovery process. When this is the case, the risk of readmission decreases significantly. Conversely, seniors with minimal or no insurance might lack the essentials they need, including access to affordable medication. You should go over your loved one’s insurance policy and make sure he or she has the benefits necessary to maintain proper care inside and outside the hospital. If you don’t think your loved one is ready to be released, speak with the doctor and inquire about other options. Being discharged before being mentally or physically ready could lead to a hospital readmission, often within the first 30 days.

Lack of Help at Home

Develop a suitable care plan before the discharge, making sure you can keep up with your loved one’s needs and current limitations. Go over the discharge documents with your loved one’s doctor or nurse and get tips on what should be included in the care plan once your loved one is released. Sit down with your siblings and other family members to discuss schedules, making sure someone is always available. In-home respite care is another option you can use until your loved one has fully recovered.

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Medication Errors

Seniors generally have complex medication regimens, and any errors could put their treatment in jeopardy. As a family caregiver, you need to monitor your loved one’s medication regularly. Memory impairment, poor thinking skills due to cognitive decline, and mobility issues that prevent seniors from getting up to access medication could also cause mishaps. You can use medication apps or schedule a caregiver to remind your parent to take his or her prescriptions. Keep an updated, comprehensive, and accurate medication list to reduce errors.

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 Milford, CT, 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.

Failing to Keep Up with Doctor Visits

Most seniors have doctor appointments scheduled within the first seven days of being released. These visits are crucial because they allow primary care physicians to check the pace of recovery and determine if another course of treatment is necessary. Missing these checkups could increase the risk of readmission to the hospital. Lack of transportation is one of the reasons most seniors fail to visit the doctor as recommended, which is why you must develop a consistent transportation schedule, making sure your loved one never misses an appointment. You can also encourage your parent to use senior-friendly transportation services, such as Lyft and Uber.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Milford senior 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. If you need professional home care for your parent, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (203) 444-8575.