After being discharged from the hospital, the first 72-hours are critical for seniors who are recovering from a recent surgery or illness. Although hospitals go to great lengths to make sure a senior has the best chances for a full recovery, a large part of preventing readmissions is based upon the type of care a senior receives once they arrive home. Here are the most effective ways to reduce senior hospital readmissions and safeguard your loved one’s health.
Understand the Treatment Plan
Discharge instructions can often be full of complicated medical terminology that covers multiple pages. During discharge, it is important for a senior to have a trusted advocate such as a family member or professional caregiver present to ask questions regarding the treatment plan. This will help ensure that each person involved in the senior’s care understands what must be done during the recovery process.
Arrange for In-Home Care
Before your loved one comes home, it is important to set up a safe and comfortable space where they can recover. In addition to creating a comfortable home environment, it may also be necessary to arrange for in-home care that can assist with medication management and other portions of the discharge care instructions. Additionally, having a cheerful caregiver visit each day will help to keep a senior’s spirits up so they can focus on recovery.
Attend Follow-Up Appointments
Within the first week following discharge from the hospital, your aging loved one will need to attend a follow-up appointment to ensure their health is continuing to improve. Even if a senior is feeling better, follow-up appointments are essential for reducing the likelihood of readmission. Schedule these appointments as soon as possible, and make sure the senior has a safe mode of transportation available on the day of their appointment.
Seniors are especially vulnerable during the first few days after a hospital discharge to further injuries or infections. Taking extra precautions during this critical period that follow the treatment plan will pay off in reduced readmission rates that can help your senior loved one enjoy the best chances for a full recovery.
Does your aging parent, grandparent or loved one have an upcoming surgery or hospital stay scheduled? If so, click here to learn more about our post-hospital care plans or contact a devoted Care Manager directly at 414-964-8000 to schedule a complimentary, no-risk consultation.