Senior Care in Sacramento CA
Hospital readmissions is one of the greatest risk to senior health. The government estimates that approximately one in eight seniors who visit the hospital will return within 30 days of discharge, a figure that many experts actually say is too low. This means that for all of these seniors, the hospital acts like a revolving door, bringing them back in almost as soon as they get out. Not only is this frustrating for the senior and his caregivers, it can actually be dangerous.
Those older adults who return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge are at much greater risk of developing infections, becoming ill, experiencing worsened symptoms of their initial complaint, experiencing delirium, and not moving through their recovery effectively. It has even been linked with increased risk of mortality and puts a tremendous financial and resource strain on the healthcare community, causing others to not receive care that they truly need. Fortunately there are ways that you can help your seniors get the most out of their initial visit to the hospital so that they do not end up back there within just a few weeks of discharge. One of the most important things that you can do is provide the appropriate care, including emotional support, in the weeks after discharge.
Use these tips, and share them with your parents’ senior health care services provider, to provide extra care, support, and encouragement that can help your parents stay home after a hospital discharge rather than returning to the hospital:
• Know the causes. While some seniors will return to the hospital quickly after discharge due to actual physical or medical needs, such as worsened symptoms in the case of an illness or infection or problems at the treatment site for procedures and surgeries, many others will return for emotional reasons. Going to the hospital is a time when they receive a tremendous amount of attention and encouragement, which can be appealing for seniors coping with isolation and feelings of loneliness. If it seems that your parents frequently return to the hospital but do not have any pressing physical needs, this may be the cause.
• Provide support. Provide emotional support and encouragement starting at the time of discharge. Reassure your parents that you and their senior health care services provider will be there for them to help them recover, and that they will not be alone. Just hearing that they will have this support can dramatically reduce the chances that they will be tempted to go back to the hospital.
• Explain the risks. Make sure that your parents understand the risks of hospital readmissions. Many seniors are not aware that going back to the hospital could cause them to suffer more physical or cognitive issues. Explain this thoroughly to your parents, letting them know that you want them to stay healthy and strong and so you do not want them to go to the hospital any more often than they absolutely need to. Encourage them to call you if they are feeling lonely and to let you know if they feel they need more care from their senior health care services provider.
If you or an aging loved one needs senior care services near Sacramento, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.