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Lowering the Risk of Hospital Readmissions: Education Is Key

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Ideally, any senior’s hospital visit would be a one-time occurrence that solves all of his or her health issues. However, the reality is that roughly 12 percent of seniors who visit the hospital end up being readmitted within a month. There’s been a lot of research done on this subject, and experts have concluded that education is one of the key factors in lowering hospital readmission rates for seniors. Seniors who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the hospital can benefit from education on these subjects.

Understanding Doctor’s Instructions

A more thorough discharge process has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of reducing readmissions. This type of education explains the reasons behind the doctor’s instructions and makes sure the senior is aware of all the implications of the instructions. When hospitals take the time to thoroughly explain all aftercare instructions from doctors, seniors are more likely to follow them. Educating seniors on how to follow discharge instructions is time-consuming and may require changes to a hospital’s usual routine, but it can be extremely helpful when done properly.

Coordinating Care with Caregivers

Seniors aren’t the only ones who benefit from education following a hospitalization. There are many advantages to making sure family caregivers also receive education. Having someone else to provide good care makes a huge difference in hospital readmission rates. Seniors who are released to live by themselves at home tend to have higher readmission rates than those who are released to get care from a relative or professional caregiver. Education initiatives—such as having a trained professional caregiver come to a senior’s home and plan care with family caregivers—can ensure the senior recovers without having to return to the hospital. 

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 Vancouver, BC, 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.

The Importance of Follow-Up Appointments

Education needs to take place in more than just the few minutes after a senior is released from the hospital. To be as effective as possible, education needs to be part of an ongoing dialogue between seniors and their healthcare providers. Therefore, it’s necessary to educate seniors on the importance of making follow-up appointments. Emphasizing the necessity of these appointments is essential because one of the major risk factors for readmission is skipping future appointments.

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

Preventative Measures

A final step in providing education that lowers readmission rates is informing seniors about general healthcare and preventative measures. Many conditions get worse instead of better due to poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking tobacco or overeating. Programs that help seniors make smart choices can make a huge difference in readmission rates. Simply saying something like “Eat a healthy diet” may not be enough. Instead, it’s more effective to educate the senior on what a healthy diet looks like. Giving seniors the tools and knowledge they need to live a healthy lifestyle can greatly lower complications following an initial hospitalization.

Vancouver 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. Call Home Care Assistance at (778) 279-3634 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.