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5 Reasons for Readmissions Among Older Adults

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Elderly people are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than younger adults. Preventing multiple hospital readmissions among older individuals is the desired outcome, but this can be challenging. Here are five common reasons for elderly hospital readmissions.

1. Infections

Seniors may have acquired infections during the first hospitalization, but symptoms may not appear until being discharged home. When your senior loved one gets home from the hospital, monitor for signs of infection, such as fever, chills, coughing, diarrhea, low urinary output, weakness, and shortness of breath. If you believe your loved one has an infection, call the doctor. Early medical intervention with antibiotics or other treatments may prevent a subsequent hospital readmission.

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.

2. Surgical Complications

If your loved one has diabetes, suppressed immunity, or vascular insufficiency, he or she may be at risk for slow wound healing. If the surgical wound fails to heal in a timely manner, tissue damage may occur, making it necessary for a revision surgery. If your loved one had surgery, monitor the surgical site. Notify the surgeon if the wound looks redder or more inflamed, bleeds profusely, or drains copious amounts of fluid or if your loved one experiences pain or severe itching at the suture line.

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 Palm Desert, CA, 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.

3. Falls

When elderly people return home from the hospital, they’re often still sick and weak, and they may have an increased risk for falls. Seniors are also at a greater risk for bone fractures because as people age, their bones become more fragile. If your loved one is still very weak or in chronic pain when returning home from the hospital, monitor him or her at all times and don’t allow him or her to move about unassisted.

4. Dehydration

When aging adults return from the hospital, they may not have much of an appetite or feel like drinking fluids, which may result in dehydration that causes severe weakness, fatigue, fever, decreased urinary output, and, in some cases, mental status changes. If your loved one has a diminished appetite after getting discharged from the hospital, call the physician. The doctor may recommend supplementing meals with nutritional shakes to prevent weakness and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The liquid in the shakes may reduce the risk of dehydration, but always encourage drinking fluids throughout the day.

5. Medication Side Effects

Seniors are often discharged from the hospital with new prescriptions. It’s not until they get home that they take the newly prescribed medication. If the new medication causes side effects such as severe dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, or blood pressure abnormalities, your loved one may need to be readmitted to the hospital. Make sure to monitor your loved one for side effects, and if any are noticed, call the doctor for further instructions.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Palm Desert 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call Home Care Assistance today at (760) 345-0001 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.