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6 Issues that Raise the Risk of Readmissions

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Hospital readmissions can cause new health issues for seniors and financial hardships for families. Most hospitals have programs in place to lower the risk for readmissions, but they still occur in large numbers. Here are some common factors that increase hospital readmission risk.

1. Multiple Prescription Medications

Medication side effects and drug interactions can cause heart issues, abnormal blood glucose levels, dehydration, muscle pain, vision impairment, and dizziness. If your aging loved one takes multiple medications, talk to the doctor about reviewing the necessity for each medication. Once your loved one no longer has to take certain medications, the risk for hospital readmission may decrease.

2. Physical and Psychological Disabilities

The higher risk of hospital readmissions due to physical and psychological disabilities may be related to accidents or injuries that occur in the home as a result of mobility impairment, decreased muscle strength, or confusion. Aging adults who have disabilities may be unable to live alone, so if you or another family member cannot look after your loved one, consider home care services.

Santa Rosa senior 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.

3. Frequent Emergency Room Visits

Seniors who have chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and mood disorders, may visit the emergency room more frequently. These health conditions also raise the risk for hospital readmissions. Other people who frequent emergency rooms include those with substance abuse problems, cancer, and kidney disease.

4. Advanced Age

Advanced age is linked to comorbid illnesses, the need for multiple medications, physical mobility issues, cognitive deficits, and vision impairment. These factors contribute to accidents and falls in the home, adverse reactions to prescription drugs, cardiovascular events, and strokes. Elderly people with the aforementioned risk factors may fare better with a 24-hour in-home caregiver.

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 Santa Rosa, 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.

5. Poverty

People living in poverty may not have the financial means to take care of themselves or receive regular medical care, and they may end up back in the hospital soon after they’ve been discharged. People who are financially insecure may not have health insurance, and they may be unable to fill their prescriptions or purchase healthy food items, or they may not have enough money to keep their utilities turned on. If your loved one has financial difficulties, contact a hospital social worker, who can direct you to a social services agency in your area.

6. COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a severe lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, thick mucus that’s difficult to expel, and frequent infections. If your loved one has COPD, he or she may also have severe anxiety because of breathing problems and may experience frequent panic attacks requiring readmission to the hospital. Aging adults who have COPD need to take all their prescribed medications, eat well-balanced meals, and drink plenty of water to thin mucus so it can be easily expelled. These interventions may reduce the risk of future hospitalizations.

Many aging adults need assistance when they return home after being hospitalized. When searching for reliable elderly 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. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (707) 843.4368.