The risk of hospital readmission is higher once people reach their senior years. While the last thing your aging loved one wants is to have to go back to the hospital, seniors are readmitted all the time due to reasons that could have been prevented. You can use these five tips to lower your loved one’s risk of being readmitted to the hospital once he or she gets to go home.
1. Practice Proper Wound Care
If your loved one was in the hospital due to surgery or an injury, he or she may come home with a wound that isn’t fully healed. Help your loved one take care of the wound by getting the aftercare instructions in writing. Then set up an area in your loved one’s home where you can keep all the supplies ready for things such as changing the wound dressing. If possible, do wound care procedures on a schedule so they don’t get overlooked.
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 Columbus, OH, 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.
2. Reduce the Number of Visitors at First
It’s always nice to see a large number of people want to visit your loved one to show their support. However, seniors tend to have weaker immune systems after they first get out of the hospital, and this places them at risk for catching a secondary illness. Minimize the amount of germs that come through the home by asking visitors to wait until your loved one is stronger before they drop by to visit. Keep in mind that video chats are always safe, so feel free to suggest this as an alternative that can help your loved one feel supported.
3. Take Heed of Warning Signs
Your loved one may show signs of problems, such as an infection or slow healing, that can be addressed in the regular physician’s office if they’re caught early. Ask your loved one’s caregiver to keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms, such as a sudden disinterest in food or redness around a wound site. This way, you can arrange for a follow-up doctor visit to correct the issue before it gets out of hand.
A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to doctor appointments. When searching for reliable 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.
4. Provide Assistance with Daily Activities
Your loved one shouldn’t feel pressured to do more than his or her body is physically ready to handle. Make sure you, another family member, or a professional caregiver is around for the first several weeks to help your loved one out. While your loved one may not need constant monitoring, just knowing someone will come by the house later could persuade him or her to leave strenuous tasks alone until someone can help.
5. Prevent Falls and Medication Mishaps
Fall-related injuries and medication mishaps are among the most preventable causes of hospital readmissions. Be proactive and remove hazards around your loved one’s home that could cause a fall. You may also need to install features such as handrails in the bathroom. Then create a medication management schedule that further prevents your loved one from making a potentially dangerous mistake.
Columbus at-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. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (614) 481-8888 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.