One of the biggest overall risk factors for whether seniors return to the hospital soon after they leave is simply the health condition that caused the first hospitalization. Some diagnoses have a higher risk of relapse, especially if the senior is neglected or doesn’t follow the doctor’s instructions after leaving the hospital. You may need to pay a little extra attention to caring for your senior loved one following a hospital discharge if he or she was diagnosed with one of the following conditions.
Congestive Heart Failure
According to 2011 data collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, congestive heart failure is the top cause of readmission. During recovery, things like taking medications, eating a low-sodium diet, and not smoking can help, but heart failure is fairly difficult to treat. Because it can cause problems even if treated properly, you need to keep an eye out for fainting, rapid breathing, chest pain, blue skin, or other signs your loved one may need emergency medical care.
Septicemia is a type of severe systemwide bacterial infection. It frequently occurs alongside other conditions that make it difficult to heal quickly, such as diabetes, but sepsis can also set in following any sort of wound from surgery or an accident. Seniors are particularly likely to be readmitted for septicemia if they have dementia because it’s even more difficult for them to care for their wounds.
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 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.
Since seniors have weakened immune systems, it’s very difficult for them to fight off the lung infections that cause pneumonia. Pneumonia can also lead to sepsis. Symptoms such as a high fever, fast heart rate, mental confusion, and difficulty breathing can be a sign pneumonia is worsening.
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 Anchorage, AK, 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.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) isn’t entirely treatable, so it’s no surprise that many seniors end up in the hospital again if they have this condition. Many seniors with COPD got it from smoking, and they’re especially likely to be rehospitalized if they’re still smoking following a hospitalization. Quitting smoking and using steroids or an inhaler as instructed by a doctor can reduce the chance of a relapse, but you still need to monitor your loved one for signs he or she is having difficulty breathing.
Mood disorders may not top the list if you only look at statistics, but they’re the highest cause of readmissions for people with private insurance and the highest non-physical cause of readmission. Seniors are particularly at risk for clinical depression, but it’s also possible for them to experience other mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or substance-induced mood disorders. Because mental health disorders are so dangerous, it’s important to provide plenty of assistance to a senior with one of these conditions.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Anchorage elder 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (907) 770-0907.