Perhaps your elderly father was recently hospitalized. Maybe it was your mother. Whoever it was, they are set for discharge. Hopefully they’ve already been discharged, but whether that just happened or is about to happen, you should be concerned about the risk of a readmission.
What is a hospital readmission?
The federal government defines a hospital readmission as any time a patient must be readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Some hospitals are measuring their readmission rates according to 60 day and 90 day intervals. Whatever the time-frame, if someone has to be readmitted before recovery is completed, it could be due to unforeseen circumstances or complications, but it could also be due to a lack of support.
If this aging parent of yours is having difficulty at home, lives alone, or may face other challenges, could he or she be at an increased risk of a readmission? Should you be concerned? Let’s talk about potential warning signs that may indicate an elevated risk of a hospital readmission for this individual.
Cause for Concern #1: They aren’t following their doctor’s instructions.
When a patient is discharged from the hospital, they receive some instructions from their doctor. If they didn’t want you or anyone else in the room when the doctor was providing these instructions (for privacy concerns or some other reason), you may not know precisely what instructions those were.
Still, most people can have a general understanding of what’s expected for someone in various health conditions. However, if this senior isn’t adhering to those instructions or is completely ignoring them, that’s cause for concern.
Cause for Concern #2: They are showing some warning signs of complications.
Maybe they’re confused, feeling weak or tired, struggling to get adequate sleep at night, or not eating properly. Perhaps your elderly parent is getting confused about the various medications he or she was prescribed.
You may not realize it but it’s against the law for anyone not licensed (or certified) or listed on a prescription medication bottle or tube to even handle it, much less open them, shake them out, and give them to somebody else. If they’re having difficulties with anything, they need proper, trained, experienced and certified help.
Cause for Concern #3: They don’t have proper support.
If this elderly parent has not hired a home care aide or even a visiting nurse for the first several weeks, at the very least, after discharge, why not? Maybe you or other people in the family have offered to help and that’s a wonderful gesture, but experience dramatically increases the chances of making a solid, healthy recovery.
Encourage this parent to look into home care if they haven’t done so already. It will not only help improve chances of recovery, but reduce the risk of a readmission to the hospital.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to reduce hospital readmission rates in Laguna Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today! 1-844-CANAAN-1 (1-844-226-2261)
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