How to Utilize Education to Lower Rehospitalization Risk

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Hospital Readmission

If your senior loved one is hospitalized, preexisting conditions, medications, and lifestyle factors can raise the risk for readmission. Through education, hospital readmissions can be reduced. Here are some ways education can reduce hospital readmissions so seniors can spend more time at home.

Explain Infection Symptoms

Hospital-acquired infections are common in older adults who have suppressed immune function or serious illnesses. While your loved one may have acquired an infection during his or her hospital stay, the symptoms may not appear until after he or she has been discharged. Educating both yourself and your loved one can help you identify symptoms of an infection early so quick treatment can be sought. If infections aren’t recognized and addressed quickly, your loved one may need to be readmitted to the hospital for intravenous antibiotic therapy. 

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 McKinney, TX, 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.

Talk About Medication Side Effects

During your loved one’s hospitalization, the physician may have prescribed new medications your loved one is unfamiliar with. New medications may be associated with serious side effects, especially in seniors with allergies or preexisting health conditions. It’s essential that both you and your loved one learn about the potential side effects of new medications so you can call the physician at the first sign of an adverse reaction. Medications that cause serious side effects such as weakness, blood pressure issues, bleeding, or severe muscle pain may need to be discontinued. If the medications aren’t discontinued, your loved one may end up in the hospital again.

Advise Seeking Medical Care

Before your loved one leaves the hospital, he or she needs to be educated on the importance of calling the physician if new symptoms arise. This one strategy alone may prevent many hospital readmissions. When your loved one remains in close contact with the physician after hospital discharge, small problems can be addressed before they become severe enough to warrant hospital readmission. For example, if your loved one develops a fever, skin infection, or urinary tract infection, antibiotics can be quickly prescribed so the infection doesn’t progress to sepsis, a life-threatening infection requiring hospitalization. 

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to doctor appointments. When searching for reliable at-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.

Perform Reverse Demonstrations

When your loved one is in the hospital, it’s essential that the staff ask for a reverse demonstration. For example, if your loved one has a surgical wound, the healthcare provider should ask your loved one to perform a reverse demonstration after the nurse has demonstrated the correct technique for changing the dressing covering the wound. If your loved one is a new diabetic, he or she will need to perform a reverse demonstration of the proper administration of insulin injections. Improper insulin administration may lead to muscle or nerve damage or even a severe infection. If your loved one is unable to perform a reverse demonstration, it’s essential that you learn the techniques so you can perform them properly and prevent a hospital readmission. 

McKinney home 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. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (972) 548-0392 today.


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