According to a 2019 America’s Health Rankings analysis of hospital readmissions, nearly 15 percent of all hospital readmissions involve seniors 65 and older who receive Medicare. What’s more alarming is that nearly 50 percent of these readmissions are considered preventable. Below are more 2019 statistics about hospital admissions that could help you reduce your senior loved one’s odds of having to go back to the hospital after being released.
Most Readmissions Occur within a Month of Discharge
Results from a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) show most readmissions involving older adults occur within the first 30 days of discharge, which suggests it’s especially important to be proactive about care as soon as your loved one is released from the hospital. Achieve this goal by:
• Minimizing exposure to germs by limiting in-person visits
• Watching for signs of infection
• Preparing your loved one’s home before he or she leaves the hospital to eliminate potential fall hazards and make common items easier to reach
Certain Conditions Boost the Risk of Readmissions
PatientBond, a cloud-based healthcare platform, reports certain conditions are more likely to send older adults back to the hospital. Their 2019 figures show readmission is more likely to occur if a senior was initially admitted because of:
• A heart attack or heart failure
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• Total hip or knee replacement surgery that was elective
Professional in-home caregivers can monitor seniors for post-hospitalization complications, reducing the chance of readmission. 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.
Issues with Transitional Care Are Prevalent
A Joint Commission study found approximately 80 percent of serious medical errors are related to miscommunication when older adults transfer from hospital care to some type of transitional care, including short periods of supervised care provided at home. Cut down on the potential for unintentional errors during the transition from one care setting to another by:
• Making sure you understand the discharge instructions
• Getting more complex post-hospital instructions in writing to avoid confusion
• Disclosing all medications your loved one is taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, to avoid serious medication interactions
A live-in professional caregiver can make your loved one’s transition from the hospital safer and more comfortable. 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 Sacramento, CA, 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.
Senior Hospital Readmissions Tend to Be Costly
According to the 2019 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, hospital readmissions result in more than $20 billion in additional Medicare costs, and even more costs are paid by supplementary insurance policies that cover what Medicare doesn’t. In fact, according to the report, total readmission costs are close to $50 billion. You may be able to keep healthcare-related costs in line for your loved one by taking additional steps to prevent readmissions, including:
• Asking for a contact number before your loved one is discharged so you have one person you can call if you have questions or concerns
• Helping your loved one manage chronic conditions to reduce the risk of being readmitted because of issues related to those conditions
• Arranging for temporary in-home care ahead of time so potential problems can be spotted and addressed quickly
A professional caregiver can be an invaluable source of support for a senior who’s recovering after being hospitalized. Sacramento home care service 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 916.706.0169 to schedule a free in-home consultation.