How to Reduce Hospital Readmissions through Education

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If your senior loved one is hospitalized, preexisting conditions, medications, and lifestyle factors can raise the risk of readmission. Through education, hospital readmissions can be reduced. Here are some ways education can reduce hospital readmissions so seniors can spend more time at home. 

Explain Infection Symptoms

Hospital-acquired infections are common in older adults who have suppressed immune function or serious illnesses. While your loved one may have acquired an infection during a hospital stay, the symptoms may not appear until after he or she has been discharged. 

Educating both yourself and your loved one can help you identify symptoms of an infection early so quick treatment can be sought. If infections aren’t recognized and addressed quickly, your loved one may need to be readmitted to the hospital for intravenous antibiotic therapy.

Talk about Medication Side Effects

During your loved one’s hospitalization, the physician may have prescribed new medications your loved one is unfamiliar with. New medications may be associated with serious side effects, especially in seniors with allergies or preexisting health conditions. 

It’s essential that both you and your loved one learn about the potential side effects of new medications so you can call the physician at the first sign of an adverse reaction. Medications that cause serious side effects such as weakness, blood pressure issues, bleeding, or severe muscle pain may need to be discontinued. If the medications aren’t discontinued, your loved one may end up in the hospital again. 

Many seniors need assistance with daily activities when they return home after being hospitalized. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Green Valley, AZ, Embrace In-Home Care is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Advise Seeking Medical Care

Before leaving the hospital, your loved one needs to be educated on the importance of calling the physician if new symptoms arise. This one strategy alone may prevent many hospital readmissions. 

When your loved one remains in close contact with the physician after hospital discharge, small problems can be addressed before they become severe enough to warrant hospital readmission. For example, if your loved one develops a fever, skin infection, or urinary tract infection, antibiotics can be quickly prescribed so the infection doesn’t progress to sepsis, a life-threatening infection requiring hospitalization. 

A professional caregiver can monitor your loved one for post-hospitalization complications and provide transportation to doctor appointments. When searching for reliable homecare agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones will be well taken care of. At Embrace In-Home Care Green Valley, 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.

Perform Reverse Demonstrations

When your loved one is in the hospital, it’s essential that the staff ask for a reverse demonstration. For example, if your loved one has a surgical wound, the healthcare provider should ask your loved one to perform a reverse demonstration after the nurse has demonstrated the correct technique for changing the dressing covering the wound. If your loved one is a new diabetic, he or she will need to perform a reverse demonstration of the proper administration of insulin injections. Improper insulin administration may lead to muscle or nerve damage or even a severe infection. If your loved one is unable to perform a reverse demonstration, it’s essential that you learn the techniques so you can perform them properly and prevent a hospital readmission.

Green Valley elderly 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. For compassionate, reliable at-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Embrace In-Home Care. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (520) 625-2050 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services. 


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