Aftercare is often the most crucial part of the recovery process for older adults. This is the time when the body continues to heal and most functions are restored. Failing to receive adequate care could increase the risk of hospital readmissions. Below you’ll find some of the best practices for reducing hospital readmissions.
Most hospital readmissions can be avoided by merely asking your parent’s medical providers questions before he or she is discharged. If your loved one has had a complicated surgery, try to learn as much as possible about aftercare so you can develop a plan that prevents errors. The only wrong questions are those you don’t ask. Your loved one’s mental, physical, and emotional health are the top priority, so you should never be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t agree with a procedure or treatment, speak up. The doctors, nurses, and staff should be honest and informative at all times.
Develop a Shared Schedule
If only one person takes on the caregiver role without any assistance, it can increase the risk of burnout and prevent your loved one from receiving high-quality care. Your family should divide the caregiving tasks before your loved one is released from the hospital and develop a schedule that works for everyone. Sharing the duties can make it easier for your family and reduce your parent’s risk of hospital readmission. You’ll likely need to provide constant care to your parent during the first 30 to 90 days after he or she is released. As time goes by, you may need to reduce or increase the hours you spend with your loved one, based on his or her care needs.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Richmond, VA, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Maintain a Safe Environment
Your parent’s home is where he or she will spend the majority of time after being released from the hospital, so the environment should be safe and secure. For example, pathways should always be clear to prevent falls that could lead to broken bones, infections, and other injuries and illnesses that could cause your loved one to be readmitted to the hospital. A safe environment should be free of hazards and dangerous objects that could cause bodily harm. Before your parent is released from the hospital, speak with his or her doctor to determine any home improvements your family may need to make.
A home caregiver can help your loved one recover at home in safety and comfort. Richmond 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.
Promote Physical Activity
Living a sedentary lifestyle following discharge can increase the risk of hospital readmission for an older adult. Heart issues are the top risk factor associated with readmissions, and living an inactive lifestyle could lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular problems. Keep your loved one physically active, based on the doctor’s recommendations. For instance, if your loved one is recovering from a stroke, you’ll need to find activities that exercise the mind and body. Start small and increase the exercises and projects as your loved one’s cognitive and physical abilities are restored.
A professional caregiver can be an ideal addition to your caregiving team. When searching for reliable elder care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones 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. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.