Being readmitted into a hospital is always concerning, since it’s an indication that a senior’s condition is getting worse instead of better. One of the major things doctors worry about is 30-day hospital readmission rates, because going back into the hospital right after leaving it can be a sign a senior is quite ill. Being readmitted to a hospital isn’t always preventable, but being aware of the major causes of readmissions within 30 days can help caregivers take steps to address the issue.
1. Cardiovascular Issues
The three top diagnoses that cause seniors to end up in the hospital again within 30 days are all cardiovascular issues. Seniors who initially went to the hospital due to a heart attack, stroke, or congestive heart failure are particularly likely to experience relapses that land them back in the hospital again. Watch for signs such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, mental confusion, pale skin, or abnormal fatigue, any of which may be a sign your senior loved one needs help again.
A professional caregiver can closely monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications. When searching for reliable in-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.
Another major risk factor for prompt readmission into the hospital is infection. If seniors get an infection anywhere, they may potentially end up with septicemia, a condition that occurs when the infection enters the bloodstream. Septicemia tends to be a major cause of readmission following surgery, and seniors are at particularly high risk for it because their immune systems may be too weak to fight off the infection.
3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a range of lung infections, such as emphysema and bronchitis, that gradually impair functioning in the lungs. These conditions are likely to cause relapses after getting out of the hospital and make it difficult to heal from other health conditions. The lack of oxygen intake keeps the body from functioning properly.
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.
Diabetes is a major cause of repeated hospital readmissions because high levels of sugar in the blood keep the body from healing properly. Seniors who have diabetes and go into the hospital may find it difficult to recover properly. Paying extra attention to blood glucose levels and being careful to give your loved one a proper diet and required medication can reduce this risk.
5. Medication Misuse
Most of the top causes of hospital readmissions are related to health conditions seniors have, but another major risk factor for hospital readmission is simply the number of medications prescribed. The issue is that seniors who have a lot of medications to take can easily mix things up and end up overdosing or skipping important medications. Make careful note of the doctor’s instructions and make sure your loved one’s medication is taken properly.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Anchorage 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. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (907) 770-0907 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.